Sunday, 23 February 2014

Live a life that demands explanation

It has been one of those days.
The kind where it feels like nothing you do makes a difference.
Where you wonder what is the point of trying.
Where it feels like no matter how hard you try, no one hears the truth.
No one cares, no one is listening.
Just one of those days, y'know?
It's easy to get down, to get discouraged, to feel like giving up. 
But something I keep reminding myself is that it's not my fight.
All I can do is my best, the result is up to God.
All I can do is live the life God has called me to.
Even if I don't feel like anything I am doing is making a difference or even counts. 
Because God works in ways we cannot understand or even comprehend. 
And it isn't about me, or what I see as success.
It is about God alone, and living for Him. 
Serving Him with all I am. 
Today in between church services we had a commissioning service for all the CRE (Christian Religious Education) teachers. I am joining their ranks this year, which is very exciting. Something the preacher said that really stuck with me was that in years to come, the children may not remember all we teach them or talk about, but they will remember how we lived. Who we were. What we stood for. 

And tonight in our sermon, a verse which just really re-affirmed that for me.
"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." ~1 Corinthians 11:1~

That just inspired me so much, that we should be seeking godly mentors to follow, and should ourselves be seeking to live lives which show a mirror of Christ to this world. We are called to live lives which make people think and show them where to turn - to the light, towards our Saviour. That is our calling. 

It is never easy.
That much is for sure.
But God is our strength, always.
And He will refresh us, and give us His joy.
And the love which we do not deserve!
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." ~Matthew 11:28~

"Let the beloved of the Lord,
rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. " ~Deuteronomy 33:12~

"We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light." ~Colossians 1:10-12~

Much love, 

P.S. Feel free to like us on Facebook :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Friends Award ~ Violet

I have been awarded by Emily of Notebook for her Friends Award! I must say, this was the most straightforward award I've ever done as I'm on a blog with my friends! :D So it made it really easy to work out who to tag!

1. Let your tagger know that you received notification.
2. Post the award picture and rules to your blog,
and answer your tagger's five questions.
3. Tag five blogger-friends, but at least ONE OF THEM
4. Give them five questions and notify them that you have tagged them.
5. (Optional Rule: Give your readers a freindship quote at the
end of your tag post : )
[P.S. You may tag group-bloggers]

 My Answers:
1. What is your favourite colour?

2. What food would you never eat and why?
 Anything that just sounds different and gross like possum or snails. I'm sure they're really not that bad but I'd rather not risk it!!!

3. Do you have a favourite place to meet with your friends?
Hmm...probably my best friend Daisy's house. We, and sometimes Hyacinth and Lily, seem to go there quite often to make little movies and do fun things together.

4. What do you and your friends like doing together?
Writing stories, making movies, running productions, doing photoshoots, blogging and just talking!

5. How do you greet your friends every time you meet them? What about on Blogger?
Probably just an excited "hello"! I'm not too sure about friends on Blogger, probably a bit more formally as it's not in person, so just "hi suchandsuch" at the beginning of the comment.

Friendship Quote: 
"The friend does us a true kindness who tells us of the things in our character, habits, manners, which appear as blemishes, although many people have too much vanity to be told of their faults. They resent it as a personal insult when one points out any blemish in them. But this is most foolish short-sightedness. To learn of a fault is an opportunity to add a new line of beauty to the life. Our prayer each day should be that God would show us our secret faults, whatever messenger he may send to point them out, and then give us grace to correct them." ~J.R. Miller

Those I'm tagging:

My Questions:
(Just do the same ones that I answered, except instead of number 5, what are some qualities you admire in your friends?)

God bless!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"Love Is An Open Door"

Disney's latest movie "Frozen" has got to be one of my all time favourites! I'm not gonna give away any spoilers, but if you haven't yet seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. It has some of the coolest (and funniest) characters out - Ana, the main character reminds me so much of myself! - and some of the best music ever!! It was written by a husband and wife, which is really cool! I'd love to go into detail about just how amazing this movie is, but I really wouldn't want to ruin it, and besides, this post has a different point to it :)
Tomorrow being Valentine's Day and all, I thought I might give you some of my thoughts to sit alongside Violet's! I've had this post topic in mind for a little while, but when I thought of my all time favourite song from Frozen, I knew it would go perfectly together <3

I just loved this song (c'mon, tell me it isn't catchy and really cute?!) and even if this isn't the point they're trying to put across in the movie, this is what I got out of it. 

Love should be an open door.
What I mean by that is this - if you are seeking God first in your life, and in your relationships, love shouldn't be something you have to force to make happen. I don't mean it should all be smooth sailing, but that things should fall into place naturally, without your forcing them to. 

 Don't bother trying to open doors that are closed - they may appear open at first, but instead wait for God to clearly open the doors in your life and brings the right person to you. It will definitely be worth it!

Love should create a door open to others too!
One of the things which really makes me sad is when two people fall in love and shut themselves off from the outside world. The way I see it, the love between two people should create a place where others feel loved too. True love isn't just for two people alone, it is for sharing.

"We can love because Christ first loved us." ~1 John 4:19~

Ultimately, love isn't for us alone, it is for sharing, and if you are in a relationship, you have a really special opportunity to share Christ's love both with each other, and with all the people around you. I mean, that's obviously a challenge for when you're single too :)
One of my favourite parts of the movie <3
Anyway, that's more than enough random thoughts from me for now! I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day, celebrating with all the amazing people in your lives, those you love! Have a read of Violet's post too, it's well worth a read!!

One final thought from me: Make sure to remember, on a holiday which has become largely romanticised, true love can only be seen in Jesus - in His life and in His death on the cross, where He died for all who turn to Him. That is the only true kind of love. Keep that at the forefront of your day :)

"My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this; that a man should lay down His life for His friends." ~John 15:12-13 

Lots of love, 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

As Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, I thought I would share with you all this cute short movie called Paperman. Enjoy!

I personally don't often celebrate Valentine's Day for many reasons - because I'm single, because until more recently I've been of an age where it doesn't feel terribly important, because as we live in New Zealand it is never made as much of a deal as other holidays, because our family (namely my parents) have never really made a big day out of it ... which means that often we just let it pass as almost any other day of the year. However, I do understand that for many other people it is a big day and so it is worthwhile to acknowledge it. :)

I guess there are a few things I could say on this day which I'm sure is already being said over the blogs of single Christians all over the place. As this day is all about love, I think we all have to remember what God's definition of love actually is:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things ... So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13. 
I know that I fall far short in showing love towards others according to this verse! So often on Valentine's Day the focus is on romantic love: the kind between a husband and wife, and so it should be as that is one of the greatest demonstrations of a godly, self-sacrificial love that God has given us! However, if we look at God's definition of love, it becomes clear that our love towards others should never be merely limited to a romantic kind reserved for one person, but we can and should be extending different kinds of love to all sorts of people - friends, family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, even a stranger on the bus! The key is to be loving our neighbour with Christ's love: a self-sacrifical, unconditional love that seeks to serve others rather than ourselves. If you're anything like me, you will feel an utter failure at this! But with the Lord's help, we can reach out to others and show them practically what loving our neighbour really means.

So, my challenge to you (whether you are single or in a relationship for Valentine's Day) and myself is this: to love with this Christlike love and not to just focus on the gushy, romantic kind of love that so often is the focus on this day.

For us single girls, that may mean biting our tongues and rather than wrapping ourselves in self-pity, jealousy and bemoaning our "single" status, looking for ways to serve others that day. Is there an elderly person or someone ill from church who would appreciate a meal? Are there some godly sisters in Christ you can spend quality time with? Is there a friend having a rough time that you can reach out to with a phone call? But most of all, ask the Lord to help you not to give in to feelings of self-pity and jealousy! Please pray that I would be doing that and I'll be praying for you all too! :)

For those who are in a relationship, loving with a Christlike love may mean being sensitive towards others who are not in a relationship: sure - spend the day with the one you love, but tread carefully and be sensitive towards that girl you know who has just gone through a break-up, or that older sister in Christ who is still single. This may mean that you hold fire on lots of gushy Facebook posts, or at least are careful with what you say. It may mean finding small ways to serve your significant other, rather than just spending the day how you want it spent (and yes, especially if you are married, that may actually mean spending the day cleaning the house)! Or it may mean finding some way to include your family in your day, showing them that you care for them too. :) Don't neglect your significant other (of course!) but find creative ways to be serving others and glorifying God on the day, and not just your own needs or wants. I'll be praying for you!!! :)

Hmm... this is starting to come out as a bit of a lecture! :P I think I'd better stop there! God bless and may you look to Him this Valentine's Day!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Sovereign Over Us

There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust
 Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
Youʼre the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory

 Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

Loving this song right now! Hope you all find it as amazing as I did! Love that bridge!! <3
And I love this quote too!
God bless, 

Friday, 7 February 2014

I'm Back

Hello Violets and Daisies - have you all forgotten me? I won't blame you if you have, it's been that long!! I haven't blogged in almost 3 months :O I'm really sorry - that's inexcusable of me. I'd like to claim that it's because I've been busier than normal, but I really haven't...

But anyhow, I will do my very best to keep my blogging more regular as of now! I have an exciting year ahead of me - I've just started swim instructing at our local pool which is a really fun and fulfilling job, I'm about to start studying counselling extramurally, I have several play scripts in the works (Violet is helping me work on one, which is most exciting!), I'm going to be doing a lot more singing and I'm sure I'll be up to a lot of other things too.

I was able to start this year out again with going on New Wine camp, (as I did last year) which was incredible again! I was working with the 8-10 year olds again, and we had a wonderful time playing, worshipping and learning together. I was really blessed to see 5 kids in my group of 8 commit their lives to Christ for the first time. It was the best thing ever!!

The theme for the camp this year was "Made for More", which I loved. It was such a good reminder that we haven't been made to live as this world dictates, but that we are called to live lives of service to the God of this Universe. And that is not a calling to take lightly. It really helped me to remember that every day single day I am called to serve God in all that I do, and that I am not the focus, but that He is.

Last year was a hard year for me. I got weighed down by the world's worries, and forgot to seek God first in all I did. So this year, I have determined to seek to live by faith alone, and to put God in the "driver's seat" of my life. Here are some verses which have been really inspiring me recently:
Galatians 3:11
"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
~1 Peter:6-9~

And I just thought I'd finish off by sharing an amazing worship song I heard for the first time at New Wine - I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me :)

Well, that's in from me for now, but I'll be back soon!! :)
God bless,