Motivation

Just the Right Time For Me

28 April, 2016
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I don’t often get personal on this blog because I don’t think you signed up to hear about my children or my life. You want God stuff, right (btw let me know if I’m way off on this)? But the other day I was reading another blog that encouraged me to be personal every now and again because readers want to know about my human side.

Here goes.

I stopped new year’s resolutions long ago and prefer words. I find it easier to keep to a word than unrealistic goals (to find out more go to  one word 365). My one word for 2016 is no excuses. Yes, I know it is two words but they have a one word sentiment. 

No excuses. What does no excuses look like to me?

My last blog post I wrote a prophetic word “just the right time.” God said it is just the right time for breakthrough, just the right time for salvation. 

Father spoke to me through that word too. God told me it is just the right time for my next book. 

I have been writing this book for a number of years. It was almost complete as a manuscript then it was wiped from my computer – in essence I have written it twice. 

But God said its time. So I’m getting it ready. This is my no excuses year. I’m hitting publish. 

The current title is Wedded Bliss: Godly Marriage for the New Millenium. I’d love for you to be part of the pre-launch phase and launch so stay tuned. (Comments on the proposed title welcomed.)

On Saturday our church held an annual fundraising event for a program I facilitate with young girls. We shine a light into their lives so they recognise the glorious confidence and beauty God has given them. At the event I announced I am running a half marathon in September to raise more funds for this program. I ran my first 10km (roughly 6.2 miles) a month ago. Doubling it is a big deal. To be honest, I’m pumped and feel fit for the challenge. No excuses. I might start posting my progress on Facebook for those who follow me there.

That’s me, showing a little of my personal side, so you know that whatever I write about or challenge you with, it’s challenged and worked in me first. 

Faith

Just the Right Time

7 April, 2016
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1 Timothy 2:5-6 For,There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 

Have you ever read the Bible and it seemed certain words jumped off the page? That happened the other day as I was reading the Bible on my iPhone. Normally I would avoid 1 Timothy 2 like the plague, but the above verses were Bible Gateway’s passage of the day. As I glanced at the verse before continuing on with my regular Bible reading, the words, “at just the right time” jumped off the page and into my spirit.

Holy Spirit directed me to another passage with a similar sentiment. I looked up Galatians 6:9 to read the exact same words: 

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 

God reminded me of a couple in our church. Ben and I asked this couple to launch a new connect group this year. At the end of last year they were trained and got everything ready to launch. Well to date, no one has come to the group. 

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

God said now is their “just the right time.” In the coming weeks, new people will cross their path ready to join their connect group. (A new family already has!)

Now I tell this story because I discern the same for some of you. You have prepared for a situation, but it hasn’t happened. And you have wondered if you heard God right. You’ve doubted if you were the right person. God wants you not get tired because this is your “just the right time.” You are about to see a harvest. 

I even sense some have been praying for a loved one to be saved and for many years it has looked like a hopeless case. Be encouraged because it is their “just the right time.” Their heart is softening and they will receive the message of Christ.

Hear God’s word to you today: it is just the right time for you. Just the right time for healing. Just the right time for forgiveness. Just the right time for freedom. Just the right time for victory. This is the season of just the right time. Believe it and you will reap the harvest.

If this word was for you or someone you know, I would love to hear from you in the comments or via email.

Faith, Holiday

Overcoming Darkness: Lessons from the Crucifixion

24 March, 2016
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Luke 23:53 Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. 

Dark days. Everyone has dark days. 

Days of extreme stress. 

Days of abandonment.

Days of verbal and emotional battery.

Days of mockery and humiliation.

Days of what may feel like a crucifixion.

Days of pain.

Days of death.

Jesus had one of those days. 

And like most of us when we have one of those days, He finished His day in a dark place. A place of nightmares. 

Perhaps you’ve been in a dark place too? Maybe you still are?

When most people go to a dark place they are confronted by demons and voices. Jesus faced them too. Except for Jesus, it wasn’t just ‘His’ demons, but all the demons in hell. Every. Single. Demon. Taunted and ridiculed Him with hideous slander and unthinkable perversion. 

The darkest of dark places.

But here is what the devil did not count on – what he never saw coming. 

He thought the darkness won. 

It didn’t. And it never will. 

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 

Never. Extinguish. The Light. 

Jesus overcame darkness.

You can, too.

The Spirit was hovering

Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 

When Jesus descended into darkness, the devil didn’t bargain on Jesus rising from the grave. Satan thought the darkness conquered. But the Spirit of God was hovering – about to inflict the devil’s worst nightmare. God struck back with the most amazing victory – the resurrection of our Saviour. 

In your life, darkness will not win. Take heart that the Spirit hovers over your darkness, and out of it He can do anything (Ephesians 3:20).

God controls the darkness

Luke 23:44-45a By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone.

Darkness is a theme through the crucifixion of Christ, yet it was not the devil who controlled darkness. Even on a day when all hell broke loose and the devil was seemingly in complete control, God stopped the sunlight. 

Have faith in this: on the darkest of days, God is still in control. 

Darkness doesn’t intimidate God

Psalm 139:12 But even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 

We use the saying, “I went through hell,” but Jesus actually did, and He wasn’t intimidated. Not once.

Darkness is not intimidating, it is not overwhelming. God is not intimidated by your problem, your weakness, your darkness. He can and will break you out. Darkness does not intimidate Him. Don’t let it intimidate you. 

It was still dark, but the stone was rolled away

John 20:1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 

It was dark, yet Jesus was alive. It was dark, but Jesus had already won. Victory was achieved in darkness.
The breakthrough has come, you just can’t see it. Victory is here, over the horizon. Wait for the sunrise. Wait for Light to break. You no longer sit in darkness. Life has seen a great light (Matthew 4:16). Your life. His Light. Has burst on you.

Now.

No more darkness.

Ever.

Crosswalk, Grace

Finding Grace Trumps Karma

10 March, 2016
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I have a bit of a thing with karma.

Karma bugs me.

It bugs me because it is everywhere. Television, radio, conversation – you don’t have to look hard to hear someone refer to karma like it’s awesome. (Refer to above picture from my local mall.)

According to the world, karma is cool. Karma is good. It’s celebrity endorsed. It is a life philosophy you should live by.

And it bugs me because it’s just not.

It’s not cool. It’s not good. It shouldn’t be endorsed and it’s not the kind of philosophy the world should live by.
So every time I hear “karma” my skin crawls and I want to scream. Because there is something so much better than karma and it’s almost as if the world has forgotten it exists.

I’m talking about grace.

The kingdom of God operates according to grace, and grace trumps karma. I have written an article published on Crosswalk.com and a slight variation of that article on Medium all about it. Jump over there and read because it’s good. So good you should like it, tweet it and share it as much as you can.

You see, what annoys me most about karma is that the world looks for a smidgeon of it, while grace flies under the radar, undetected.

Well, no more.

This is what I would like: I want Christians to look for grace the way others look for karma. I want you to murmur grace under your breath when a friend relays a story about how she was blessed with a free coffee. Or about an elderly person who gave her kids a ride on the Peppa-Pig-Go-Round at the mall. 

You could say, “Wow, I just love grace, don’t you?”

Or even, “I love to hear stories of grace at work.”

Or simply. “Grace.”

And see what happens. See what conversations begin.

Because God’s favour is all around and even as believers we miss it. 

Be purposeful. Look for grace. Look for instances where people don’t get what they deserve – a free upgrade, the kindness of a stranger, a promotion, forgiveness, a second chance. Grace. 

And when you find grace, tell someone. 

Like someone would tell you about karma.

Karma does not make society better. Grace does. 

Now it’s your turn
: Share with me an instance where the grace of God operated in your life by hitting reply or posting in the comments. You could even tweet it and tag me on Twitter (@sarahcoleman031). Maybe we could get it trending? #findinggrace

Leadership

8 Scriptures for Women Who Lead

3 March, 2016
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Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” 

Emphasis on the word them. Them does not mean him. It means men and women.

Judges 4:4, 5:7 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time… There were few people left in the villages of Israel—until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel. 

Deborah was wife, prophet and judge. God needed her to arise. The nation was counting on her. He needs you, too.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. 

Sometimes I get the feeling Christians would like women to be virtuous but not capable. God’s design is she be both.

Luke 1:30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!”

Woman, you have found favour with God – regardless of what others say, think or attempt to impose on you.

Mark 16:5-7 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”

The most important message the world has known was first delivered to women – the message of Christ’s resurrection. What women have to say matters. It’s important. It counts.

Acts 2:17-18 ‘In the last days,’ God says,’I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.’

Daughters, this is your day to prophesy. Speak life words over your friends and colleagues.

Titus 2:4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.

Women have a duty to teach, train, mentor and lead others.

Galatians 3:28-29 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. 

There is no longer male or female. Women are heirs to all the promises of Abraham including the promise of headship (Deuteronomy 28:13).

Rachel Held Evans said, “Unfortunately, when it comes to womanhood, many Christians tend to read the rest of scripture through the lens of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 rather than the other way around.”

It is so true. We forget Esther, Mary, Huldah, Junia, Phoebe, and Priscilla were all prominent, God-and-community-endorsed leaders of their time. 

Don’t shy away from your God-given calling because someone is not comfortable with it. 

You are a leader. 

Lead.