Friday, 29 July 2011

Experiencing the Anger of God

Some thoughts on God’s anger…

God is not anger at us – He is angry for us

God’s anger may startle (to say the very least) us, but His indifference would devastate us.

God’s anger is loves protection at its highest.

-         Steve Fry , I Am – The Unveiling of God

When I was in New Zealand on YWAM, I experienced an anger and darkness that scared me so bad; it was almost like I was getting glimpse of hell.

I felt separated from God.
I felt His judgment and condemnation.
It was horrible, horrific.

I can not fully describe how dark and lonely it was. All I could do was pray through it, the feeling lasted on and off (I experienced it when I went to spend time with God) for about a week.

I believe that I was experiencing God’s anger, but from the outflow of is intense love for me. God had a lesson for me; He wanted to wake me up to a Truth.  

Through this experience the Truth that I never ever want to be separated from God and that I was in desperate need of a Savior were solidified in my brain and heart. I believe that this was God’s love purpose in this experience, for me to come to the deep revelation of my need for Jesus.

With out someone to “wash me clean” (justify, save, take away my guilt) I am a really “dirty” (selfish, bitter, mean, angry and on and on!) person.

Praise God for Jesus Christ who has washed me clean from all me dirt and now I will never ever be separated from God! Can I get an Amen?

Have you ever experienced God’s anger? If so, what do you think was God’s love purpose in it?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Caution - Narrow Road

Going for a walk in the lovely sunshine this afternoon and I came across these two road signs. They jumped out at me and spoke to me! Not literately of course, but man wouldn’t that make for a crazy story! Haha

I whipped out my handy incredible iPhone (this phone is truly the best phone I have ever had, it is extraordinary in all it can do!) and took these pictures, I then played with them on Instagram (soo cool!).

The two ideas that came to my mind (that the signs spoke to me! Haha) were about the “narrow road” and “counting the cost of discipleship.”

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

I heard Jesus say to me caution! this road that you have chosen in following me is narrow and difficult, don’t be surprised that you are experiencing troubles (twists and turns).

In Luke 14:28-33 Jesus talked about counting the cost of discipleship by saying “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

Jesus asked me “have you counted the costs of being my follower? Have you read the sign and heeded it? Or have you gone forward without caution and now that things are tough (narrow) you are getting frustrated?”
I have to be honest and tell you that I have gone forward in this journey of following Jesus with out taking the time to count the costs of being His disciple. When things have gotten tough I have given up, got frustrated with God, with myself, and with others. Now I see that Jesus warned (caution!) me that the road was narrow and that there would be twists and turns. I don’t think I would have made any other choice but to follow Jesus had I counted the costs, and heeded the warning. I think I may have just avoided some of the pitfalls (the ups and downs) because I would have slowed down, and kept my eyes a little more on the road (Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life).

Thank you Jesus for this revelation today, because it’s not too late!

You want to be walking the accurate way, right? You want to know the truth and nothing but the truth, right? You want to live, right? There will be many twists and turns, the road is narrow, and a difficult drive, buuuut it’s worth it! Because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Time to slooow down and fix your eyes on Jesus.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Nazareth Manifesto

Luke 4:18-19 New International Version

   18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
   because he has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
   and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
   19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Max Lucado refers to these verses as The Nazareth Manifesto. Manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions.

These verses are not only Jesus’ public declaration of His principles and intentions, as His followers they are also to be ours. If you are following Jesus it is important to know the principles and intentions by which you have committed to live. I spent a little time breaking down the verses in which Jesus gave this manifesto and the verses in Isaiah that Jesus is referencing.

This is the “life application” I understood from them:

When I chose to trust and follow Jesus the Holy Spirit fills me up and empowers me to be like Jesus. Not only does the Holy Spirit empower me but He qualifies (meets the criteria, meets the requirements, makes eligible) me, it is not anything I do, but chose to trust and follow Jesus that qualifies me, it is all Him.

When I call myself a Christian, when I chose to follow Jesus, I am making a public declaration that my life’s intentions (meaning, purpose, aim, intent, goal, objective, plan) are to:

  • Preach (share) the Good News (God loves the whole world, He has forgiven us all, and we can be free from death (sin and hell) and receive the full, abundant, eternal life when we trust and follow Jesus) to all those who need to hear it.
  • Comfort (console, reassure, soothe) all those who are physically, emotionally, spiritually suffering, distressed, tormented, worried, and weary.
  • Proclaim (make known) that there is freedom for those who are captive and being oppressed by sin and death (e.g. bitterness, anger, addiction, abuse, fear) and that they can see Jesus and live in the Way, Truth and Life.

I am a Christian, enter into my world…

I meet Jesus and my life was flipped upside down, I was filled with His Holy Spirit, who is transforming my mind and heart to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

I am a Christian, enter my world...
        Mine is a world that begins when I meet Jesus... I'm everyone and anyone, I felt that something was missing, that there was more...
        I searched for truth.

        I may explore different religions and lifestyles. I might try sex, drugs and rock n roll.   I ask questions. I don’t settle for the status quo. I keep pushing.

        Than one day I meet the Way, Truth and Life.  I meet Jesus.  He is everything I was searching for. He is the answer. He loves me…
I am complete in Him.  He is my Creator. The Lover of my Soul. My Friend and Savior

        When I first trust Him... a door is opened to a world... a world which I was created for, but was blind to… His Spirit fills me up and empowers me.
        This is it... this is where I belong...
        I am at peace here... I have been adopted into a family...
        I am a kid of the King.  I am free.  I am living...

        We Christians are all different... we come from different nations, cultures... we speak different languages, wear different clothing and eat different food… we have had different experiences and have different struggles and gifts… the only thing we have in common is that…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us,
      he has anointed us to tell everyone about the Good News.
   He has sent us to make known that there is freedom for all people, and that now is the time to meet Jesus and chose to follow Him.

We welcome you into our world... the Kingdom of love, hope, peace and freedom in Christ Jesus our King

        Yes, I am a Christian.  My life is Jesus.

        I am a Christian, and this is my manifesto. I am not alone… will you join me?

Friday, 22 July 2011

You Are Forgiven

Today in my devotional I was asked the question “What does it mean to you to be reconciled to God?” I think this is an important question for everyone to reflect on, whether you are a follower of Jesus or not.

We all have been forgiven, when Jesus died on the cross He took upon Himself the punishment for the WHOLE worlds sins (mistakes, wrongs, evils) and when He rose from the dead He gave us the opportunity to receive life (both now on Earth and into eternity)! All we need to do is trust and believe in Jesus’ love, grace and forgiveness.

Please stop and reflect on this reality: you are forgiven. All you have to do is believe this and put your trust in Jesus.

If you have already trusted Jesus: give Him thanks and praise for His grace and love.

If you have not yet trusted Jesus and want to: pause, tell Him that you believe, ask Him to empower you by the power of His Spirit, and get connected to a group of Jesus followers.

If you are not sure about all this, don’t worry many a great men and women had/have questions before they decided to follow Jesus. I encourage you to seek answers: ask people (me? I might not have the answers, but I am always open to sharing with you what God has shown me), read books, and even ask God! to show you the Truth.

OK so back to the original question: “What does it mean to you to be reconciled to God?”

Everything, it means everything. As I sit here in the sun I rest in the peace that I have access to the Source of life! The Creator of the Universe, my Creator loves me and has forgiven me. I am now free from death, here on Earth (in the form of sin) and into Eternity (hell). I have been given LIFE! right now on Earth (my mind and heart are being transformed, producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control) and into Eternity (Heaven!). This is very very GOOD NEWS! Thank you Jesus for giving me life, thank you for opening my mind and heart up to this Truth.

Please don’t just race past this question. This matters.

If you are following Jesus it matters because I think the wonder and awe of this Truth can fade and our deep gratitude and appreciation can be weakened.

If you are not following Jesus this matters because I want you to know that you have been reconciled to God, there is nothing you have to do but trust and believe in this Truth.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Not Your Fruit!

This morning I had a thought. Truth be told I had many thoughts! But there is one in particular that I want to share with you. This will be a quick and painless...

Have you ever heard of the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 says "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

The (Holy) Spirit's fruit is "good and moral" living. Please note that this is the Spirit's fruit, it doesn’t say the fruit of your hard work, or the fruit of your self discipline, or even the fruit of your obedience.

No, this is the Spirit's fruit, it is His to plant, water, cultivate and produce in us. By God's grace when we put are trust in Him and ask Him to fill us with His Spirit, He does plant, water, cultivate and produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in us! Praise the Lord!

So remember "moral and good living" is the Holy Spirit's fruit, not yours, so you need to ask Him to produce them in you and trust that He will. Don't go trying to do it yourself, we humans are not very good gardeners.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Is Hell a Garbage Dump?

Before you start reading please know that I had know intention on writing a blog on this topic, and I don’t yet have any solid view or opinion on hell. I am still learning and reading. This blog is not intended to be a statement about hell but instead it is about the need for all the facts and the search for truth. When I learn something, I must share, because I imagine if it shocked my socks off, it might at least cause someone else to pause and think about it.

I am reading Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle and I just read the section titled Is Hell a Garbage Dump? I was stunned to learn that the idea that when Jesus refers to Gehenna he is making references to the city garbage dump is at best a weakly supported theory.

For those of you who are not following, often when you will read Jesus using the word “hell” the original Hebrew word is Gehenna.  For example in Mark “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It's better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell (or Gehenna).” Now some have thought and taught that Gehenna was the town garbage dump outside of Jerusalem in Hinnom Valley in the first century (when Jesus would have made references to it). Quoting from Erasing Hell

“there is no evidence for hundreds and hundreds of years after Jesus that there ever was a garbage dump… Nor is there any archaeological evidence” (p. 59).

Furthermore the first references to Gehenna being a garbage dump is from a man in the late Middle Ages, over a thousand years after Jesus, who lives in Europe (p. 60)! Whaaat!

Oh wait there is more. Again quoting Erasing Hell

“In the Old Testament, the Hinnom Valley was a place where some Israelites engaged in idolatrous worship… they sacrificed their children… when Jeremiah began to preach, the Hinnom Valley started to take on a metaphorical reference for the place where bodies of the wicked would be cast… the word gehenna was widely used by Jews during the time of Jesus to refer to the fiery place of judgment for the wicked” (p. 61).

Some of you might be asking why does this matter? It matters because people are basing their ideas of hell on this theory that Jesus is referring to a garbage dump, a place where things burn up and disappear, not a place of eternal suffering. This matters because people are not hearing all the facts. I have heard this garbage dump hell theory before, and was quick to believe it, but now I have paused and started to take a closer look. I think this is very important; this is why I am sharing this with you all. I don’t want to believe anything just because it sounds good, but are not based on truth, and I don’t want you to either!

Please take the time to read Erasing Hell I am finding it extremely informative.

Let us be a people who seek truth. I know that I am prone to believe that which makes the tough parts of the Bible softer. I pray that the Holy Spirit, the Truth Giver, will lead us into ALL truth in the name of Jesus, whatever that may be, whither we like it or not, we want truth please. Amen

Friday, 15 July 2011

I know that God loves me, because the Bible tells me so?

This morning my devotional focused on rejection and the unconditional love and acceptance of God. I have a hard time accepting, recognizing and believing the unconditional love of God. I know that God loves me, because the Bible tells me so. I know in my head that He loves me, but I have very rarely experienced the love of God go beyond my mind, into my heart and soul.

I am starting to really truly understand that it is of utmost important to experience and know God’s love in our hearts and soul, because it is His love that transforms us.

The Apostle Paul confirms this when He prayed “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19.

Let\s take a deeper look at the phrase “to grasp”:

properly, take hold of exactly, with decisive initiative (eager self-interest); to grasp something in a forceful (firm) manner; (figuratively) to apprehend (comprehend), "making it one's own." - Helps Ministries, Inc.

attained (1), caught (2), comprehend (2), found (1), laid hold (2), lay hold (1), overtake (2), seizes (1), understand (1), understood (1), win (1). - NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries

to take eagerly, i.e. Seize, possess, etc. (literally or figuratively) -- apprehend, attain, come upon, comprehend, find, obtain, perceive, (over-)take. - Strong's Concordance

My prayer for myself and for you is that we will grasp (with decisive initiative, make our own, attain, comprehend, take up eagerly) how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, because to experience this love is more important than any knowledge, and so that we will be filled up to the top and overflow with God’s love! Amen

This is important. Please take the time to reflect on your own personal experience of God's love. We can memorize all the bible verses we want, we can attend Church every Sunday, we volunteer for every good deed, and we can learn Hebrew and Greek. Without grasping, experiencing, understanding God's love for us we are not living in the full and abundant life that He has for us ALL.

Holy Spirit please soften my heart
Please open my mind
Please clear my soul
For your perfect, unconditional, never ending, all consuming, all healing, fulfilling and satisfying LOVE! Amen.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


This morning I was answering some questions in a devotional I am doing. I was asked the question what does “grace” mean to you? These are the stream of words and thoughts that I wrote on the page:

Grace? peace. deep breath. no worries. let it all go. lay it down. Give up! Jesus has it all under control. Be still child and know I AM God. Rest love patience joy kindness. genteelness faithfulness goodness HOPE. not me, Jesus. not by my strength or power but by God’s Spirit alone. It is all about God. for Him from Him and through Him. Blessed. saved. sanctified. FREEDOM! Love and mercy in abundance. Thank you. a life of gratitude and praise to the King of kings the grace giver Jesus Christ. Amen.

Your turn! Grab a pen and paper. Don’t over think this. Let the words flow from your heart and mind onto the paper. Do not filter them, edit them or monitor them. Now answer the question What does “grace” mean to you

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Playing tug of war with Jesus!?

A lot has been happening in the past month or so. A lot spiritually that is. God is always working in our lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit are minds and heart are always being transformed from holy to holy. Yet there seems to be times when He is doing a “deep clean.” I am experience one of those times. I feel like God is doing open heart and brain surgery at the same time! I am still processing it all, and there is a lot to share, more than I am going to tell here.
Several weeks ago I come home and my Aunt is having tea with my mom. I sit down to join in the tea drinking and cookies eating. It doesn’t take long before we start talking about God. My Aunt asks if she can pray for me, which I of course say “YES!” because I can always use some prayer. One of the things that came out of the prayer time that had the most significance to me were a picture my Aunt received of me playing tug of war with Jesus.
Oh gosh! Why on Earth am I playing tug of war with Jesus! Silly silly me. Later on I asked God “What does this mean?” and God said to me “You need to drop the rope” and I thought “yes, OK I got that part, but how do I drop the rope” and God answered simply “stop trying to save yourself.” This rang very true to me. I have blogged before about my love of rules, religion and legalism. This is a weakness of mine, and it is really getting in the way with my relationship with Jesus, because instead of following and loving Him I am fighting him, I am resisting Him. Jesus is saying drop the rope, stop trying to do the right thing, stop trying to make yourself better, instead let me love you, lead you in the right way and I will make you the better person.
That’s just it, Jesus wants us all to drop the rope, we cannot save ourselves, which is why Jesus had to die on the cross and rise from the dead defeating sin and death. Are you playing tug of war with Jesus? Are you trying to in 10 steps or less to make yourself a better person (a better Christian)? It will not work. DROP THE ROPE!
OK We have dropped the rope! So now what? what do we do? We fix our eyes on Jesus. We pray, we sing, we spend time with other lovers of Jesus, we read the Bible and other encouraging books, we get out of our own little bubble and love other people, we dance, and we take deep breaths knowing that Jesus is transforming us from holy to holy. Amen!?
This is waaaay easier said than done. So please pray for me. I will be pray for you. Drop the rope grab Jesus’ hand and mine, and together we will walk this journey.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Beacause I Am A Girl

My heart was broken when I learned that…
·         70% of the one billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls.
·         Girls are 3x more likely to be malnourished than boys.
·         In the poorest countries of the world, 50% of girls do not attend secondary school.
Girls and women in the world's poorest countries are the most vulnerable members of society, denied the same rights and opportunities as their brothers.
But there is hope! Because I also learned that…
·         An extra year of school for girls increases their lifetime income by 15%.
·         Children of women who have completed primary school are less likely to die before age 5 than children of mothers with no schooling.
·         Women invest more of their income in their families than men do.
Yes, there is hope! Investing in girls is key to eliminating poverty and creating a brighter, safer future for everyone. When girls are educated, healthy and informed, they pull themselves, their children and their communities out of poverty. The most vulnerable are potentially the most powerful. Empower a girl – she'll change the world for everyone around her, including boys and men.
I am a girl, so “girl issues” are obviously heavy on my heart… though I hate using the term women or girl issues, because women and men are humans, equally so, therefore women issues are human issues.
Are you a human? Than these issues concern YOU! So GET INFORMED. GET INVOLVED. Please check out Because I Am A Girl