8 October 2017

When a Little Goes a Long Way

(I wrote this on my Mum's blog, but the principles apply to everybody, so will share here too!)
One of my favourite stories is the miracle of the five loaves and two fish. When Jesus takes a little boy's lunch and makes it into more than enough to feed 5,000+ people.
When I was a teenager, I loved this story because I could see an application to my life. I had a big desire to see people saved and I prayed that God would take my 'little' life and use it to spiritually feed/help many people.
That is still my prayer, but recently I have learned another application.
A while back I was preparing for our plane trip to Holland. Since we live on the other side of the world, it is a very long way to go with four small children. I was unsure how flying would go. I prepared and brought lots of activities for them to do on the plane. But anything I packed, we would need to carry on the airports, so I couldn't take too much.
Usually I can't sleep when I am flying, so the thought of going so far with so little sleep and so many hours of looking after children in a small space was very overwhelming.
So little sleep and so few activities for the children for so many hours of flying.
Then I saw a new application in this story.
I prayed that God would take the little sleep I would get and the few activities we could carry and make them go a long way!
And He did. Our flights were far better than I had thought possible. The children slept for about half of each flight, and I got some sleep at a motel at our stopover. The children used a few activities on the plane, but between eating, sleeping and watching videos or playing games, they hardly needed them. I expected to be completely exhausted by the time we got to Holland, but I hardly felt sleepy at all in spite of my lack of sleep. The same kind of thing happened on our way home again. I was amazed! I still have a box of activities to find a place for!
I applied this same principle in another way this week. I was very organized with my shopping and got everything ticked off my list. Our child also had a birthday which I did shopping for. But afterwards, I realized there were other urgent expenses and things we needed that I had either forgotten about or simply hadn't realized. By now, I had spent the majority of my shopping money. Uh oh! Feeling a little stressed, I wrote down all the needs/expenses in my prayer journal. I prayed that God would do the same thing again. That he would use the 'little' money I had left to go a long way.
The next morning I got two emails. The first one said that one 'expense' was postphoned for another month. The second one said that something I had put on Trademe the night before had sold for the full 'buy now' price.
 Wow! One less expense and enough money for the other expenses!
He did it again!
What overwhelms you?
God can take the little resources you have and make them go a long way. The key is to give them to Him for His blessing.
Praise God!

18 September 2017

Choices


20 August 2017

Do Your Best and Trust God for the Rest


(Repost)
While Leonardo da Vinci, a famous painter, was still a pupil something happened. His old and famous master, because of his age, felt he had to give up his own work. One day he asked da Vinci to finish a picture for him that he had started. The young man had such reverence for his master's skill that he refused. The old artist wouldn't accept any excuse. He persisted, saying, 'Do your best.'
Finally Da Vinci told hold of the brush with trembling hands and knelt down by the easel and prayed: 'It is for the sake of my beloved master that I implore skill and power for this undertaking.' As he started painting, his hand grew steady and his mind was inspired. He forgot himself and was filled with enthusiasm for his work. When the painting was completed, the old master was carried into the studio to judge the result. What he was looking at was a picture of art. Throwing his arms about the young artist, he exclaimed, 'My son, I paint no more!'
We often shrink from starting the work which our Master gives us to do. We are not worthy; we have no skill or power for the great work. But the Master's gentle yet urgent word is, "Do your best.' We only have to kneel in reverence and pray, for the beloved Master's sake, for skill and strength for the job we are given to do, and we will be inspired and helped to do it well. The power of Christ will rest upon us and the love of Christ will be in our heart. And all work done under this inspiration will be acceptable unto God.
God told the Israelites that he had given them the land of Canaan and they needed to go and possess it. Because of the giants, and the big walls of the city, they were put off. Instead of trusting in God to help them, they disobeyed and never got to see the promised land. They were right; they couldn't do it. But God could do it through them.
"Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies." Psalm 108:13

28 July 2017

Scars of Love

(Repost)

A little girl grew up with a mum and dad who loved her very much. Of course, she loved her parents too. As she got older and went to school, the other children noticed that her mother's hands were terribly scarred and disfigured, and not nice to look at. They teased her about this and the little girl began to feel ashamed of her Mum's hands. She wished that they were smooth and beautiful like other girl's mums.
As time went on, the mother began to notice a change in her daughter's behavior whenever they neared the school gate; she seemed to not want to be seen with her. Saddened and hurt, she asked what was the matter. Embarrassed, the little girl looked down at her feet and then blurted out, “It's your hands, Mum! The other girls always laugh at your ugly hands and tease me about them. Why have you got such ugly hands?”
Sitting the little girl down on a bench-seat nearby, the mother gently asked her, “Would you like me to tell you why?”
“Oh yes!” replied the little girl. Quietly her mother began.

“A few years ago when you were just a baby, I woke up in the middle of the night. I could smell something burning. I rushed into your room and found that the heater I put in there to warm the room had set fire to your little cot. I didn't have time to think of anything, but you, lying so near those terrible flames! I beat them out with my hands and rushed out of the room with you to safety. It was then I realised I had burnt my hands terribly, and that is why they are so scarred and ugly today.”
The little girl listened very quietly until her mother had finished her story. Then, with tears in her eyes, she flung her arms around her mother's neck and said, “Mummy, I love you all over—but I love your hands best of all.” From that day on she was never ashamed of them again. In fact, whenever the girls would foolishly taunt her about her Mother's scars, she would always reply, “They are scars of love!” and tell them the story.
Did you realise that Jesus too, has scarred hands?
He was nailed to a Roman cross and died there, so that we might have our sins forgiven and receive eternal life. Remember that first Easter, He appeared to all the disciples to show them He was alive. Thomas wasn't there, and he refused to believe it until he saw the scars in Jesus' hands and side where the nails and cruel spear had pierced him on the cross. Shortly afterwards, Jesus did appear to Thomas; “Look at my hands and side” He said to him. Thomas saw the scars and immediately believed. “My Lord and my God!” he said. We too, will one day see those same scars when we stand before Him. Will you be able to say, “My Lord and my God. I love you and those are scars received in my place when You died for my sin. They are 'Scars of Love' for me!”

13 July 2017

Good in Public

(This is a Repost)
Hannah!
Our little girl Hannah is a very social little girl! She loves people and loves to be given attention by anyone she sees. When she is looked after in creche with all the other children, I get told, "She's one of the easiest kids!" Someone once asked me, "Is she ever grumpy?" My answer was, "Yes. At home!" She is no trouble to take anywhere, and has never had a tantrum when out in public. (Well, except for on the never-ending plane trip to Holland, but that's understandable!)But she does have her moments (like any normal child) at home!   
     
 I started thinking about this recently when I heard a mother mention how her teenage daughter acts at home. I don't know that teenage girl very well, but from what I've seen of her I  never would have imagined her being like that. She seems just the opposite in public. So I was quite surpised.
But thinking about it,  I have to admit that I am guilty of the same thing. I can be cheerful when I'm in public and then have a complaining or resentful spirit at home. I can talk nicely in public, and then have no patience when I think no one else is listening. I can wear a smile when I go out, but take it off again when I'm at home. We've had 2 visitors staying with us for the last month, and I'm becoming increasingly aware of how I act or talk at home!
How is it that we can treat the worst the people that we love the most?
Unfortunately I think we're all sometimes guilty of just being good in public.
I heard a quote once that said "The light that shines the furtherest shines brightest at home."
What do you think that means?
Psalm 101:2b says. "...I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." That means at home!
Are you 'good' at home? Or just in public?


9 July 2017

Diamonds

This season of life is very busy for me with 4 little children, and doesn't leave much time, energy or inspiration for blogging. So for now, I would like to post poetry, devotions etc. that I posted back when I first started this blog.


Diamonds are only chunks of coal
That stuck to their job, you see;
If they'd petered out, as most of us do,
Where would the diamonds be?
It isn't the fact of making a start,
It's the sticking that counts, I'll say,
It's the fellow that knows not the meaning of fall,
but hammers and hammers away.
Whenever you think you've come to the end,
And you're beaten as bad can be,
Remember that diamonds are chunks of coal,
That stuck to their jobs, you see.
 Virginia Call