Strength in the Call

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I sat in the church cry room as my children played and the congregation took communion. There in the one way window, I looked at my reflection.

There was a strong woman looking back at me.

Shock registered. She had not been there for some time.

I am a strong woman. I can do this. I am doing this.

I always thought of myself as strong, but for the last year I was not so sure. Being responsible for small lives was bigger than I thought. Motherhood weakened me. Weathered and worn, I doubted myself and my ability. I questioned my competence overcoming challenges. It seemed challenges overwhelmed me.

Until I looked in the mirror. And I saw a strong woman looking back. Not a worried woman. Not a weary woman. A strong woman.

She’s back.

Since I was a teenager I knew my calling. Not my job or title, my calling. I took my eyes off calling. And I became weak. I became wife, mother, and teacher. And I thought those titles defined me. They did not define me. They have never defined me. Call defines me. But I lost it. I thought if I lived up to the title, life would be okay. It wasn’t.

So I have come back to basics. Come back to the call. The beautiful call. The heavenly words of my Saviour, “Go up the mountain.” It is all I am to do – go up the mountain. But I did not.

I stopped ascending and started fussing. I stopped breathing Him and started hyperventilating. I stopped climbing the mountain of God, and tried to climb the mountain of worlds best mother. Priorities out of whack. Completely. And it made me weak. It wasn’t Samson’s hair, it was his priorities. They were awry, and he became weak.

I am going up the mountain. The strong woman is back. The cool wife, the fun mum. Because it is not about titles or expectations. I do the will of my Father. And that is enough. It is always enough.

What is your call? What is the one thing God wants you to do? Do it. Forget the titles. Forget your job. Get your eyes back on the call, and feel strength return.

You are strong. Strength lies in your call.

Love One Another, People

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1 John 3:11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

Since the start of the year I have been a regular contributor on Crosswalk.com. Many have found my website and signed up to my email list as a result of articles featured. It is an opportunity for which I am thankful.

A few weeks ago Crosswalk published an article about Victoria Osteen. Let’s say it was less than complimentary.

Christians criticising Christians is not right.

Just because you don’t agree with the wording of a public address, or because they have a differing opinion to your own, does not mean you can take to social media and the Internet to proclaim your disdain. No where does the Bible condone public defamation of fellow believers.

I have a new article published on Crosswalk this week titled, Are Christians Failing to Love One Another? It is my response to criticism of iVictoria Osteen and other high profile believers. A subtle rant. Loving one another is Christianity 101. Seriously. Let’s love one another people, and stop the condemnation.

I encourage you to head over to Crosswalk.com and get your love on.

I am Saved

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Psalm 91:16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.

Daylight breaks a little earlier each morning in Australia now. Hence the children burst into my room a little earlier too. Together we creep out to the lounge and watch the sunrise (soon the sun will be up too early even for us…well, you can only hope). And there in the serenity of the sunrise, with my little lights, I feel the Light of the world rise in my heart.

Psalm 27:1a The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

I remember praying my version of the sinners prayer at eight. I prayed I would not go to hell. And that was it. My understanding of salvation was deliverance from the flames of hell.

But salvation is more than escape from eternal damnation. The Greek word, sozo, means to save, keep safe, rescue from danger, save from suffering disease, to make well, heal, restore health, deliver from the penalties of judgement, and to save from evils which obstruct deliverance.

Darkness may cover the world – the greatest darkness my generation has known – but the Light shines. He is salvation. He is the answer.

Fear is an ever present threat, lurking amid negativity and doubt. But it has not overcome us. It did not overcome Him.

Arise, shine, the glory of The Lord has risen. The glory of The Lord has come. Jesus Christ, our salvation, salvation of the whole earth. He is here.

Salvation is good news. Whom shall we fear? Death has no sting. Christ has shown us His salvation. It is well.

I have Long Life

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Psalm 91:16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.

The final months of my grandfather’s were spent in a hospital bed. He used to laugh and joke, full of energy and spirit despite Parkinson’s disease. Then he fell, hit his head, and never recovered. IV needles and tubes going in and out of his body, masks covering his face. He no longer comprehended or knew what was happening, unable to recognise the face of his beloved wife of more than fifty years. I was in disbelief, this was not the grandfather I cherished. A shadow of the man he once was.

Perhaps you have a loved one living like this. Or loved someone who died like this.

And perhaps you wonder, is this my fate? Will old age cripple and humiliate me? If old age is so devastating, I don’t want long life.

Let me give you a Biblical picture of old age.

Moses climbed a mountain when he was one hundred and twenty. At eighty-five, Caleb led an army to capture the promised land. Abraham had a baby when he was one hundred. A baby! These guys did not slow down. They did not accept sickness or suffering as part of old age. They were flourishing, conquering, and living life to the full.

Isaiah 65:20 No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young!

God’s plan is long, abundant life. A vegetative state is not life. Suffering in pain is not life. Long life is a reward and blessing, not a curse. Longevity is a reward where you will grow, thrive, and pursue dreams. Stay active in mind and body. Pray in the spirit – it is strength to your being. There are exciting times ahead. Many years of fullness, joy, and love. Embrace the promise and blessing of long life.

He Answers Me

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Psalm 91:14-15 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.

Many years ago I turned Psalm 91 into a t-shirt design. I was speaking at different churches, conferences, and events and branched into selling clothing in addition to my book, Single Christian Female.

I transformed the psalm by turning each personal pronoun to she or her, thus personalising it for women. Of all the verses, 14 to 16 are my favourite when changed this way. The shirt read,

Because she has set her love upon Me, therefore I will deliver her; I will set her on high, because she has known My name. She shall call upon Me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble; I will deliver her and honor her. With long life I will satisfy her, And show her My salvation.

“Because she has set her love upon me…”

It is the greatest privilege to set love upon my God. More than worship. More than words. It is a living sacrifice. Completely devoted. Living for His pleasure and delight.

I am that girl. The one who has set her love upon the Lord. The one who loves Him with all her being.

Not that I do it for the benefits, but when you love God with all your heart, mind, and strength, it does not go unnoticed. The Lord showers deliverance, honour, answered prayer, and life satisfaction upon such people. He sets His abundant love on us.

Because you have set your love upon the Most High, He has set His love on you. His eye is on your life, delivering you from evil, answering prayer.

Set your love upon Him in this moment, and capture the love He has set upon your soul.