Lifestyle

Authentic – Part Two

29 August, 2016
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Romans‬ ‭8:9‬ ‭NLT‬ But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. 

Authentic is being true to one’s spirit. If you are born again, the spirit within is the spirit of God. So you are authentic when your words and actions line up with the spirit of God.

Many seem to believe authentic Christianity is exposing sin and personal struggles. But the spirit of God does not sin. Let me remind you of the type of fruit produced by those who live according to the spirit:

Galatians 5:22-25 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 

You and I are authentic to the spirit within when we exhibit the fruit of the spirit. To exhibit any other fruit is inconsistent with God’s spirit and conforming to the spirit of the world.

Not long ago I was in a particularly trying situation. I work as a substitute teacher from time to time and a few days ago I taught challenging classes in terms of behaviour. As a result of that day my confidence was knocked, not just as a teacher, but in every area.

I was trying to convince God that it was okay for me to feel down and defeated and that He should pat me on the back and comfort my wounded soul.

Instead, He talked tough. There have been plenty of times when my husband used my own sermons against me, but now God? 

1 John 4:4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

God gave me a wake up call and reminded me that wallowing in my own pity was not the spirit I had. The spirit I have within is greater than the spirit of the world and if I were to be authentic I had to get in line with His victorious spirit. Satan desired to keep me down and defeated but it was not the spirit I had.

People often discredit “name it and claim it” type Christians – those who are sick as a dog, yet say, “I’m healed and whole in Jesus’ name.”

“It’s not real,” belittle some.

I argue it is authentic because that is the spirit within. The spirit of God is whole and healed. The spirit of God is more than a conqueror. We are not of this world. We are born of the spirit. Honest, authentic living is when you are true to the Spirit of God. 

You have a greater, super-powerful spirit inside you. Don’t conform any longer to the patterns of this world. Live authentic to the Spirit of God.

How can you live authentic to God’s spirit within, today? 

Lifestyle

Authentic – Part One

22 August, 2016
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He had that look. Big shoulders, bulging muscles. Confident. Brave. Perhaps even a little arrogant. He was ruggedly handsome with piercing eyes. He was a warrior and a leader. Imposing and formidable.

He looked like a king.

Even Samuel – the great prophet – thought so.

But Eliab was not the Lord’s choice.

Nor was Abinadab. Or Shimea. Nor Jesse’s four other sons.

They all looked like royalty, but they missed the mark.

“Is there anyone else?” Samuel desperately inquired.

“Only the youngest, David. He is out in the pasture tending the sheep.”

“Send for him at once. We will not eat until he arrives.”

And as they say, the rest is history. David was anointed King of Israel and the Spirit rested on him from that time.

He was chosen, not because he looked like a king but because he had the heart of a king. Man looks at outward appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Authentic is a buzz word at the moment, especially among Christians. We desire to be authentic in our faith as we know Timothy was:

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you (2 Timothy 1:5).

According to Merriam Webster, authentic means to be true to one’s spirit.

David was chosen as king because he was authentic. God liked the look of David’s heart. He was true to the spirit within him.
Would God say the same of you?

Sometimes we try to complicate things but being authentic is not difficult. It is being true to the spirit of God within you.

You may not be in the presence of a great prophet or influencer, today you just might be tending the sheep. Regardless of who is watching, be authentic. Be true to the spirit of God within. You never know where a heart like that will take you.

Faith

What I’ve Learnt in my First Year as a Senior Pastor’s Wife

25 July, 2016
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She had a perm, bleached hair, high-heels and a frilly dress. And when she walked down the isle of the church she floated. Her children handsomely dressed, her husband the very definition of anointed. She was the pastor’s wife and from my nine year-old view, almost an angel.

I never saw myself as a pastor’s wife. Yet here I am. A pastor’s wife. Sans the big hair, frilly dresses, flawless makeup, home-cooked hospitality, pristine home, manicured lawn and everything else that screams pastor’s wife.  
A non-traditional, flat-haired, non-casserole-making pastor’s wife.

I am not like other pastor’s wives.

And I’m okay with that.

I am a pastor’s wife because I am married to a pastor, but I was a pastor before he married me. I am just as much a pastor as he is. We are Senior Pastors together. We lead together. We cast and outwork vision together. Our calling is to minister together.

Pastor’s wives in the new millennium are not the same because God has unique gifts and callings for us all.

Pastors wives are just like you.

Yes, I just said pastor’s wives are unique, but I would like to debunk a common myth: pastor’s wives are not perfect. Let me reassure you, your pastor’s wife is just like you.

She has good days, she has bad days. She folds the washing. She stands on Lego pieces down the hall. She doesn’t pray 24/7. Her kids talk back to her. She feels inadequate at times. She struggles with loneliness. She feels misunderstood.

Yet she shows up and sits on the front row every Sunday looking like that wasn’t her week.

Your pastor’s wife is more like you than you know. If she ignores you in the shopping centre she didn’t mean to. She doesn’t deserve to be criticised or gossiped about, because she has never done that to you. She has understood your life and your private struggles, and she’s prayed. Because she’s a good woman.

Just like you.


I can handle it.

“Okay, Sarah, this is the big leagues. You can’t flesh out anymore. Put your big girl pants on – you are the Senior Pastor.”

That was the conversation I had with myself while doing my make up, the morning my husband and I became Senior Pastors of our church.

How could I feel so ready yet so overwhelmed at the same time?

But that morning I made a choice. I decided I would handle it – whatever “it” may be. There were no more excuses. No more games. No more tantrums. The buck stopped with me. I would not burn out or blow up.

Being a pastor’s wife has certainly not been easy, and I know in this journey there will be greater challenges still, but I have decided this is my calling and I can handle it. Senior Pastor. Pastor’s wife. Mother of Princes. Daughter of the King. In all things and in all situations, I can handle it.

Full article published on Crosswalk.com.

Faith

10 Scriptures That Prove You Can Handle It

18 July, 2016
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You are battle ready.

Psalm 18:34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 

You will arise.

Micah 7:8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. 

You can handle snakes.

Mark 16:17-18 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” 

You will still be standing.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 

You will not be tempted more than you can handle.

1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 

You have the grace you need.

2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 

You are blessed.

Genesis 49:25 May the God of your father help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. 

You are developing character.

Romans 5:3-4 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 

You have strength.

Judges 6:14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” 

And last but not least, you can handle everything.

Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 

Faith

You Can Handle It

11 July, 2016
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I started running in November 2014. The first morning I ran up a hill near our house and I thought I was I labour again. I ran 1.5km and walked another 1.5km. It was all I could handle. 

But a few days later I went running again. And I could handle a little more. 

The other day I ran 15 kilometres (don’t ask me what that is in miles). That’s running for an hour and a half. Non-stop. And it was tough. Especially the last few kilometres. 

But I handled it.

Perhaps David said something like this in 1 Samuel 17, “A bear came and attacked my sheep and it freaked me out, but I handled it. Another day a lion came at me, and I handled it, too. Now, I’ve never faced a giant before, but King Saul, I think I can handle it. I think I can handle it.”

God doesn’t expect you to handle everything at once. But as you handle small things, He will ask you to handle something a little bigger. Then a little more. One step at a time. He knows you can handle it (see the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25).

I know it’s daunting. I know you’ve got your reasons, or rather, your excuses. Believe in yourself. Jesus knows you can handle it.

There’s a famous story where the disciples are in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. A huge storm came upon the boat and they were tossed by the waves. In the midst of the storm Jesus came walking on the water. The disciples were terrified but Peter called out to Jesus and said, 

“If you think I can handle it, tell me to come.”

You know what He said.

In the midst of your storm God is asking you to step out on the waters (Hillsong United wrote a song all about it). He is telling you to come because He knows you can handle it. 

What are you waiting for? Step out of the boat. You can handle it. Just keep your eyes on Jesus. Take it one step at a time. You’ve so got this.

You can handle it.