Author Archives: lynwake

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. 

Unknown-3(Similar scenes on a Sydney beach)

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!

BE Miracle Makers!

IMG_7652Many years ago I travelled as a tourist to Northern India. It was my very first trip overseas and it was filled with a variety of sights, sounds, smells and flavours. While it was enjoyable, something was missing. Just a year or so later, my new husband and I travelled to the Pacific on our first ministry trip and we found that missing something – purpose!

Travel often sounds adventurous and luxurious. Travel on its own can be fun and offer a restful experience. But travel with a purpose – travel that is meaningful and incorporates a positive mission – well that kind of travel is in another category all together!

My latest ministry trip to Nepal, as an ambassador for CBM, was filled with purpose. It was also an eye-opening experience – quite literally! While I certainly experienced many unique sights, sounds, smells and flavours similar to my first trip in that region, I also got to meet beautiful people, created in the image of God, who now have their eyes opened to see!

I travelled to the other side of the world for a heartfelt reason – on behalf of our daughter, Bethany. Beth dreamed of travel – intentional travel with a purpose. She had heard about people in need and wanted to become a nurse and go and help wherever she could.

Beth did not get to fulfil her dream in the usual way. She went to her Heavenly Home just short of her 16th birthday in 2011, after a year-long, faith-filled battle with brain cancer. But, her dream to help the most marginalised and seemingly forgotten ‘poorest of the poor’ is still alive!

As a family, we thank God for the transforming work of CBM and the opportunity to partner with them in bringing miracles of sight and restoration to the world. We can relate to the struggles that come with loss of sight as this was Beth’s first symptom. Upon her diagnosis, God gave us a promise that her life would matter and that her dreams would not die, but be used in a greater way than we could envisage…


Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

Spiritual eyes are being opened through Beth’s legacy of faith, hope and love. And through the amazing work of CBM and its partners, physical eyes are also being opened! All this is only possible when ordinary people like you and me get behind the extraordinary day we mark on the calendar as Miracles Day! Fellow Aussies, we have the opportunity to pave the way for the rest of the world to get on board.2ea3a280-381a-45fb-a630-90179d18e229

Please join in with Bethany’s legacy today and support her God-given vision to see eyes opened and lives transformed! The small sacrifice you will make to be part of Miracles Day is a decision you will never regret!

While it may be true that you will not get to travel overseas with a purpose and witness the transformation God offers through the work of CBM, there is a way you can come with us and see the redemption story God has given our family… ACCTV DOCUMENTARY ‘I SEE YOU’

Together. Restoring. Hope.

It is an absolute honour to partner with the Australian Christian Channel (ACCTV) and the enthusiastic community of people who make Miracles Day a reality.  This exciting new three-part documentary explores Bethany’s life and her legacy with CBM. It will be available to be streamed from Sunday 11 August. It will be broadcast on the channel at 6:30pm and 10pm on August 13, 14 & 15.

Our loving God affirms every person as worthwhile and says – ‘I SEE YOU!’

Every person with sight restored can now say to loved ones – ‘I SEE YOU!’

Every person now woven into this beautiful story can also say – ‘I SEE YOU!’

Miracles Day gives Australians the opportunity to give someone the Miracle gift of sight, with a 12-minute operation costing just $33.

CBM’s Miracles Day happens across Australia on August 15. To find out more or to donate, visit cbm.org.au/miraclesday

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BE Loyal Companions!

I have never written a tribute for an animal before. But our Chala was no ordinary pet… no run-of-the-mill dog. Chala was special and we have learned much from our Loyal Companion

IMG_0076During the time our Bethany was sick, we made application for a ‘Companion Dog’ – a highly trained animal who would be able to help Beth manage life as a hemiplegic. Beth looked forward to this possibility for a time, and so did the rest of the family.

But when it became clear that our girl was ‘Homeward Bound’, we regretfully withdrew our request. To our surprise, Chala, a Golden Retriever deemed ‘too friendly’ and ‘not road safe enough’ to continue with her formal training, was offered to our family in exchange for a transport donation. We are so thankful for the friends who raised the needed amount for Chala to become ours.

So, just as we were saying ‘goodbye for now’ to our Brown-Eyed-Beauty, God sent another brown-eyed blessing, wrapped in a cosy bundle of fur, to help with our healing.

Chala came bounding into our lives weeks before Beth left – quite literally! In her first minutes with us, we allowed Chala to jump up on Beth’s bed and although Beth was unable to respond, we like to think she was aware that a new member had been ushered into our family.

David’s brother and his family cared for Chala during those last weeks, while we nursed Beth. The day after Beth’s passing, we went off to church to worship God and grieve with all the loyal companions who had journeyed with us. We then went to pick up our new companion – and little did we know then what delight and comfort she would bring us over the next eight years.

Sadly, our Chala passed away over the weekend, just 24 hours after collapsing in our back yard. She had shown signs of slowing up and had recently gone off her food – both unusual traits for our fun-loving, constantly hungry girl. But we were still caught unawares that her time with us had come to an end. To simply say she will be missed is an understatement.

IMG_1048CHALA – WRECKED AFTER A LONG BEACH WALK!

We are so thankful to God, our True Loyal Companion, as again He cushioned the blow for us, setting in place some beautiful timing that meant we could all be together as a family to comfort each other as we dug Chala’s grave and laid her to rest in a special blanket. As we covered her over with both dirt and tears, we thanked Him again for bringing such a precious gift to lighten our load.

When I think of Chala, it will always be with a smile. I will miss watching her play with our children and hearing the laughter only she could evoke. I will miss resting by the fire with her, gently stroking her soft coat on those cold nights. I will miss our walks. I will miss seeing her joy in greeting the men in the family – she always had a soft spot for the boys!

Chala was not only a gift to us, but to David’s parents next door. While Mum was still at home in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Chala put on some extra weight. We eventually discovered that Mum kept giving her treats and forgetting… then some more treats… with no complaints from Chala!

I think that Pa Wake will miss her more than the rest of us put together. He and Chala shared a special bond. She really was such a Loyal Companion to a family in grief on so many levels, truly blessing everyone who entered our home with her loving ways.

Chala in the Car Jan 2019No, dear Chala, you did not really ‘fail’ your training as a Companion Dog, as we sometimes joked. Instead, you beautifully fulfilled your calling in a manner that went way beyond any training could offer. You reflected aspects of Your Creator to us and were a gift from His heart to us all.

Chala was a master at totally accepting us and knowing how to just be with us in our sorrow. Not only did Chala just love being with us, she always wanted to touch us with her presence. She simply loved physical affection and was known as a ‘leaner’.

Oh, how I will miss you most of all at that special place called Seaspray… you and Beth both played there as you tasted a slice of Heaven. I will miss seeing you lean up against my man, your best buddy, as you fished together on many golden mornings. Thank you Loyal Companion!

IMG_5957.JPGChala always left bits of herself behind wherever she went. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I will also miss cleaning up Chala’s shed hair all over the house (maybe not so much over our clothes). That hairy mutt certainly worked her way into our hearts and she will leave a big empty space… one that lies tucked next to our Beth.

We are so grateful for our Chala. May we learn from her peaceful kindness and BE Loyal Companions to each other in our times of need – blessing each other with our total acceptance and presence. May we also lean in like she did, not afraid to bring touch and comfort when words just cannot be spoken.

Chala Christmas 2018And one more thing… may we also leave evidence of our lives behind us… in the knowledge that we are loved and have loved well.

In loving memory of ‘Our Chala’

12 August 2009 – 10 June 2019 

Loyal Companion

 

BE Givers!

 

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Edited REPOST from March 2017

Bethany was such a giver! We look back with pleasure and remember the times when, as a small girl, she literally emptied her little purse for those in need. We also recall, with lumps in our throats, the generous way she kept giving throughout her illness as a teenager. As she gave, Beth proved over and over the truth of the life-giving words of Jesus when He said…

“It is better to give than to receive.”

We are so pleased to report that through the generosity of family and friends, we were able to pass on $2,000 to Wise Choices for Life on Bethany’s behalf last year. What a birthday gift!

A HUGE thanks to those who responded so generously. 2019 marks the fourth year we have promoted this wonderful organisation, offering the opportunity to give a dollar for every birthday year in remembrance of our girl. Around 50 people donated last year – so you can calculate that some were more than generous by adding an extra zero to their gift! Who says that zero = nothing! What a difference this gift will make on the ground in Uganda to help train people to pass on the Good News through reproductive health education. 🙂

Click here for a short clip that will inspire you…  The Bethany Wake Scholarship

March 31 marks 24 years since we were blessed by the gift of Bethany Joy. Again we have an opportunity to BE Givers and donate $24. Many have already given and we hope to surpass last year’s gift to Wise Choices. Let’s keep Beth’s ‘Blue Box’ full to overflowing! 

BE Blessings Trust Account:      BSB 013 308       Account Number 381 757 698

**On May 9, CBM is relaunching The Bethany Wake Stop Fistula Appeal. This is an exciting new development and with your help, we will be supporting a brand new project in Nigeria.

**Bethany’s story will also feature in a documentary later in the year to promote CBM Miracles Day! Lyn has just returned from filming in Nepal at the Eye Hospital and in coming weeks the Australian Christian Channel TV crew will come to Melbourne to film the other parts of the doco. Stay tuned for even more opportunities to BE Blessings to many and BE Givers like Beth!

“The generous will themselves be blessed…’ ”Proverbs 22:9

With our sincere gratitude, Bethany’s family 🙂

BE Fed!

They say that we are what we eat! I am convinced this principle applies to our entire being. Our bodies, minds and spirits are all hungry for wholesome nourishment. But even as I know this, I am aware of my tendency to get lazy and I forget to intentionally feed my whole self with life-giving food.

In 2006, the late Eugene Peterson wrote Eat This Book – A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading.

This classic has been on my long list of Books I Want to Read for a while now. So with the passing of this godly biblical teacher a few months ago, I have begun to ‘Eat This Book’.

The title concept comes from the opening chapters of Ezekiel where the prophet is told by the Living God to open his mouth and eat the scroll… the book covered front and back with God’s words.

Ezekiel was to open up, taste them, take them in, BE Fed and transformed by them. Then, in turn, he was to go to God’s people and speak them out.

With this in mind, I share with you some of the books that have fed me in 2018. I love reading and appreciate that this is not everyone’s experience. But I hope that this ‘menu’ will entice you to resolve with me to feed on the good food of inspirational, godly literature throughout this New Year and the years to come.

(By the way, I would be delighted to add to that long reading list of mine as I hear back from you what books have fed your spirit in 2018.)

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Lynny’s 2018 Good Spiritual Food Menu:

The Message

How fitting to finally complete this translation of the Bible in the year of Eugene Peterson’s Homecoming. He has left behind a true legacy that helps bring the scriptures to life. This inspirational best seller of all time keeps getting better and better! (In 2019 I will continue feasting on The Passion Translation.)

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkinson

An easy read and excellent Bible study and teaching resource.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman

A lovely book written for young mothers. A great reminder for all of us to treasure Christ in the busyness of life.

If I Had Two Lives – The Extraordinary Life and Faith of Costas Macris

Missionary biography by Dan Vorm

Not just an interesting read, but I had the honor to meet the author and Costas’ son, Jonathan, who continues the ministry in Greece.

He Speaks in the Silence by Diane Comer

A courageous deaf woman candidly shares how she learned to hear the voice of God.

The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazerro

I studied this excellent resource with my mum and daughter over an eight-week period. This one is a real eye-opener and relationship builder.

Ministry that Transforms by Kathleen McAlpin

A Contemplative Process of Theological Reflection

Theological Reflection by Judith Thompson

A Model for Pastoral Practice

Both these texts were helpful in my theological studies as I was encouraged to intentionally take time to reflect on how my ministry practice aligns with God’s Word, my own call and the world around me.

Can You Drink The Cup? by Henri Nouwen

I am always challenged by Henri and this one was no exception as he made me drink deeply… “When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become.”

In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen

This one tasted good! Henri offers another beautiful meal to the Body of Christ as he reflects on Christian leadership.

The Rome Gospel by Ben Chenoweth

This is the third book in Ben’s historical novel series. A great friend and talented author, Ben helps us get in touch with the original biblical audience.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

“Let go of who you think you are and embrace who you are supposed to be.”

I highly recommend this as great food for thought and full of practical ideas to implement for personal growth.

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

This was gifted to me to help prepare for our sabbatical leave. It contains a good message about noticing God wherever we are in the world. Unfortunately, it left me empty in its rare mention of Jesus as the only way to satisfy our hunger and thirst.

Back From the Brink of Hell – Hope after Black Saturday  By John & Jan Graham with Meredith Resce

These amazing Aussies are some of our closest friends and tell their incredible story in a way that inspires the church to step out and meet the everyday crises surrounding us.

The Grace Awakening by Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts

Another gift for our sabbatical, this is an enjoyable feast that tells the story of a Welsh retreat and prayer house where God meets people in their need and blesses their socks off!

Abide by Warren Weisbe

A short but sweet summary of John 15. “Without Me, you can do nothing.”

The Broken Way by Ann Voscamp

Ann’s musings have been rich food for my soul and this book has deeply touched my heart. It has built some courage within me to embrace my brokenness and go on blessing others in theirs.

One Year of HOPE

Devotional by Nancy Guthrie

The One Year Heaven on Earth

Devotional by Chris Tiegreen

Both of these wonderful devotionals add greatly to the flavor of our family meals around the table. Yes, they are taking a bit longer than a year to get through… we are savoring them!

So, with all this ‘food’ going around, let’s say a New Year’s ‘grace’…

Father, thank you for ALL the meals you have provided and prepared for us. We open our mouths to receive all the good food you want us to eat and then speak out to feed others.

Lord, cleanse us from the toxins and the junk we have consumed.

May we BE Fed directly from Your hand so that we can live and grow to Your glory!

May every meal we devour, body, mind and soul, be life-honoring and life-giving.

May our New Year’s resolution include more wholesome, nutritious meals all around, more exercising of faith, hope & love and more of Jesus… yes, much more of Jesus our Daily Bread!

By the power of Your Holy Spirit, may we all be blessed throughout this New Year, ever transforming into Your likeness until, at last, we feast around Your table forever.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Well, back to my reading… Happy New Year friends and Bon Appetit!

BE Adventurous Pilgrims

 

IMG_6975We have just experienced the privilege of taking an adventurous pilgrimage to the Holy Land…

  • After 30 years of dreaming together, this was a privilege made possible through the generosity of precious partners in ministry who share our passion for Christ and value sabbath rest.
  • After 30 years of walking together in marriage, this was an adventure that led us to our first glimpse of Jerusalem and onto the challenge of walking The Jesus Trail from Nazareth to Capernaum over four days.
  • After 30 years of loving and serving together, this was a pilgrimage that renewed our hope and led us to fresh places of discovery and rest.

Along our adventurous pilgrim pathway, the One we followed and travelled with taught us some pretty cool life lessons. I’d love to share just a few with you in the hope that wherever you find yourself along the holy trail of life, you will be filled with courage to keep walking, one brave step at a time, with your heart set on the exquisite promised land that lies ahead…

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” Psalm ‭84:5‬ ‭NIV‬

IMG_7022David James and Nicole Joy – my companions for the journey in front of the     Garden of Gethsemane

As the three of us walked and talked together on our adventure, we did a lot of huffing and puffing, laughing and crying, sprinting and staggering, thinking and praying – all while madly searching for the next orange and white marker showing us the way to go…

IMG_7064Some of the markers were hard to find… painted on rocks, trees, poles, fences and walls

Lesson #1 = The path ahead is not always clear!

IMG_7059We were given the book, we possessed a map and these were both helpful, but we would have been lost without the GPS that beeped at us every time we got a little off track. Likewise in life, we may be prepared and looking for guidance, but ultimately it is the Spirit of the Living God who directs our steps. He is the ultimate GPS… God’s Personal Spirit not only guides but also strengthens us for every step Homeward-bound!

IMG_7043Which way now???

The Jesus Trail was not exactly what we expected! Yes, parts of it were just as we pictured, but every corner held a unique surprise.

Lesson #2 = The journey is filled with the ordinary and the extraordinary! 

IMG_7068Along the trail we kept exclaiming just how ordinary things would have been for Jesus. He really did walk this earth in the fullness of a human being. The extraordinary fact that He would have walked thousands of miles over His life and ministry years did not escape our notice. We only walked 70 kilometres but were amazed at the various kinds of terrain we had to traverse.

  • We climbed up 416 cobbled steps leading out of Nazareth only to be met by a steep paved hill and a winding bitumen path.
  • The next marker led us through scrubby wilderness, prickly rabbit trails and surprised us with a pleasant stroll through a fresh pine forest.
  • We raced through the stench of rubbish dumps and rotting animals but meandered through the flower farms to smell the roses. Eucalyptus wafted over us several times, making us homesick for our Aussie bush.
  • We enjoyed the coolness of the fragrant orange and olive groves and craved shelter along the long rocky stretches out in the vulnerable open spaces.
  • We encountered many obstacles that we had to scurry up, over and through.
  • Our eyes were glued to the ground as we slugged through slippery mud on that rainy day. But as the sun came out again, we marvelled at the extraordinary panoramic views of Galilee that came upon us suddenly.IMG_7171
  • Oh how we welcomed the sight of a little town to refresh our water supply and it was a joy to smile and wave at inquisitive villagers after miles of lonely solitude.
  • Our parched throats and aching feet were delighted to be comforted with gifts of cool drinks and (rickety) chairs in the friendly oasis that was Cana.
  • We trudged on for hours along a relatively easy straight path, followed by the challenge of a steep mountain cliff climb and descent that has to be seen to be believed!

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I could go on and on… each day bought its joys and pain, its challenges and inspiration. The Divine walked hand in hand with human flesh, sacred and glorious along the way paved by the One who was fully divine and fully human.

What extraordinary ordinariness!

As we continued to walk on through the rain and hot sun, I had to resist the childlike temptation to whine, ‘Are we there yet?”

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Lesson # 3 = It really is about the destination! 

Yes, I do realise that it is also about ‘the journey’ and ‘the climb’ as wisdom sings out, but the truth is that if we are on the wrong path leading to the wrong place, those lessons we learn along the way will also be wrong!

Better by far to walk securely along the right path leading to the right destination. On this path of Truth we will gain life-giving insights and view our surroundings with the correct perspective as we go.

The True Jesus Trail is narrow and paved in the blood, sweat and tears of the Saviour we follow. But friends, this trail alone leads to eternal life and glory with the Father. We never walk alone and we have an inexpressibly beautiful destination ahead in Him!

IMG_7147Whoo Hoo! Capernaum!

To be honest, we didn’t do this holy pilgrimage thing perfectly. We didn’t do things in the right order, we blundered through some parts, we needed grace for each other’s mistakes and strength to take turns carrying each other’s burdens. We got lost several times and I got ‘hangry’, tired and disorientated. At times I complained about the heat, my sore feet and aching body.

Yet in spite of all that was against us, Someone far greater was and is for us!

We made it! We climbed that huge mountain. We did the distance! We did it together and gloriously laughed together when it was done!

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# One final lesson = We don’t have to go to the Holy Land to take an adventurous pilgrimage!

If the Holy Risen One is with us and in us forever, then our journey towards Him and our eternal Home with Him continues with our very next step! 

Let us together look out for the truthful markers as we notice the ordinary and expect the extraordinary all around us. Let us set our bodies, minds and hearts towards the ultimate goal and destination as we remember to help our sojourners along the various terrain and conditions we will encounter in this risky business of life.

May we all remember to BE Adventurous Pilgrims because in Christ,            THIS IS WHO WE ARE! 

From the Great Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11

“Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that— heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them and has a City waiting for them.” ‭Hebrews 11:13-16 MSG‬IMG_7108PS: Don’t forget to rest along the way!