Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's almost 9.30pm on New Year's Eve and I'm sitting on the couch in baggy clothes with a sick and teething toddler on my lap. Silently willing her to sleep. I can see my glass of red non alcoholic wine and chocolate donut waiting for me on the side table. There's a movie on TV and if my dear hubby and I are still awake at midnight it will be surprising! 

Despite the fact that today has not gone as I would have hoped and my evening is not glamorous; my spirit is not dampened. I am very excited, expectant and looking forward to 2014. Why because I know God has good things in store for me and my family. I trust Him. I know that He will direct my paths. 

God's Word tells me: 

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. 

Isaiah 43:15-21 
I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King. I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick. 
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry waste land so my chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honour me before the whole world. 

I can hear the early local fireworks starting and my baby is still awake so I will leave you with this blessing: 

Psalm 115:14 May the Lord richly bless both you and your children. 

Happy New Year! 

Love Nat xx

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Family Activities for Summer

Summertime is finally here! It took a while in old Melbourne town... Our weather is so unpredictable. 

So what can you do this summer with your family? I've made a list of things I'm hoping our family will get through. I hope it helps you too! 

1. Visit the museum 
2. Go to the beach
3. Fly a kite 
4. Make a time capsule 
5. Go to the park
6. Run under a sprinkler 
7. Throw a New Year's Eve party 
8. Make homemade fruit icy poles
9. Sleep under the stars
10. Have a campfire (unless it's a total fire ban day!) 
11. Watch the sunset
12. Go on a bike ride
13. Have friends over for a BBQ 
14. Go on a picnic
15. Play totem tennis
16. Go to the local pool
17. Have a water fight
18. Give your dog a bath
19. Make a cubby
20. Experiment with bubbles - make giant ones! 
21. Jump on the trampoline 
22. Visit the aquarium 
23. Play a backyard game of cricket
24. Make milkshakes
25. Draw pictures in the sand

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Birth of Jesus Christ

When was the last time you read the passage from the bible of Jesus's birth? 

Don't get too caught up this Christmas season. Remember what is important. Take time to reflect on the miracle and fulfilled promises of God through the birth of His son Jesus. It's not just the Christmas story. It is complete truth. It is our redeeming grace. The beginning of everyone's testimony; for it is through Jesus Christ that we have forgiveness of our sins and ever lasting life. 

I love reading about Christ's birth. There are angels, miracles, fulfilled scriptures, prophesies, songs of praise, signs and wonder, and of course the birth of a King! 

Take time now to read it again. You can read of Jesus birth at either 
Matthew 1:18 - Matthew 2:23
Or Luke 1:26 - Luke 2:40

Friday, December 13, 2013

Differing views

Standing for what you believe in can be quite a task. It doesn't sound difficult. In theory one simply stands up for, or speaks about what they believe. 

There are many ways to stand up for what you believe in. You can make a private commitment to something, have a quiet word to someone, you can live a lifestyle which shows your beliefs, a heated conversation, you can also wear clothing stating your most passionate points, you can declare it on the streets or from a roof top and then you can post it on a social media website. 

I've done it all at some point in my life. Making a stand for what you believe in is something... It shows others what you care about. 

Taking a stand is something that takes guts! No matter what kind of stand you take it takes gumption because you have to really believe in it whole heartedly. No matter what others think or what happens, hold fast to your belief and do not be swayed! 

Do not make a stand in the hope it will make you popular. Usually it has the opposite effect. 

Taking a stand will likely bring a voiced opposing view. Opposition. We see opposition in sport when teams or individuals compete against one another to win a match or a title. We see opposition in politics when different groups and leaders hold different views or priorities. Opposition is in the community when businesses compete for customers loyalty and a good profit. We also see it in the playground when one child wants to play something and another one doesn't. 

I remember back to VCE (senior/end of high school) in a Business class I learnt about groupthink. Groupthink is the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making. Eg; "there's always a danger of groupthink when two leaders are so alike". 

I often think that if everything was peaceful, and people didn't have the freedom or ability to have their say or make a stand then the country or even the world would become a huge groupthink. Groupthink on such a large scale would mean no opposition and no competition in life. Business would not be the same and people would be miserable. I don't want to think the same as everyone else. 

But getting back on track I just want to tell you; whatever you believe, it is more than ok to have a voice. Even if it means we agree to disagree. Just remember to have your say with respect for others. By that I mean don't call someone names or wish bad things on them and certainly don't be a bully. Share what you believe in love. Love don't hate! 

So think about what you stand for. And if you stand for something be prepared for opposition. 

In the Bible many Christians faced opposition and were even persecuted for their beliefs. Sadly still to this day people are killed in many countries for having a differing view. If you face opposition, trouble or persecution you are not alone. Read these words penned by Paul and be encouraged! 

2 Corinthians 4:8-18 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Same sex marriage - not an option!

This morning I shared a friends Facebook status that reminded and encouraged me to continue to pray for our Nation. 

So I prayed and then I got thinking. And I thought... Christians have not thought through the repercussions of what will likely happen if same sex marriage is legalised in Australia. 

I've jotted down a few points to help people open their eyes. To see. I hope that by reading this it will also urge you to also pray. 

1. Same sex marriage will begin to be seen as normal. 

2. Television shows and commercials will show families with same sex couples and families. (This has already started). 

3. When learning about family at school, our children will be exposed to this new age interpretation of family. It will become part of the curriculum. 

4. Our children and future children (your grandkids) will not know and respect the true meaning of marriage. 

5. And there will be spiritual consequences! 

The Word of God says: 

Ephesians 6:13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

We need to put on the full armour of God. This is not the time to forget or to take a leisurely walk. We Christians are constantly in a battle; not against flesh, but of the things unseen! Today even more so we should be taking up our weapons and fighting a good fight. I'm going to because I want my Lord to say well done good and faithful servant. Make your life count! And not just for anything, but for something worth while -- for the cause of Christ. Love, grace, & salvation! 

Please pick up your cross and follow him today... Into battle for our nation.