Saturday, July 11, 2015

Being vigilant

Being vigilant... 

What does vigilant mean? A google search definition says... 
keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.
Ie; "the burglar was spotted by vigilant neighbours" 

Other words it uses to describe it are: 
watchful, on the lookout, observant, sharp-eyed, keen-eyed, gimlet-eyed, eagle-eyed, hawk-eyed, with eyes like a hawk, with one's eyes open, keeping one's eyes peeled/skinned, attentive, paying attention, alert, on the alert, on one's toes, on the qui vive. 

This morning - today- I got a new and a real sense that we as Christians need to be much more vigilant. I was aware more clearly how careful we need to be. 

The enemy (Satan) is just that, an enemy. Not a bad guy. THE BAD GUY! He is against us because we are with God. He despises us. He not only wants us to trip up; he uses a cunningness and deception to trip us up! 

In John 8:44 Jesus himself says this of the devil... 

"He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies." 

This scripture came to mind... 

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 

How can we be more vigilant? 

Read this passage of scripture first... 

2 John 1:5-9 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. 

We can be vigilant by: 

1. Loving one another as Christ commanded us. 

John 13:35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” 

2. Stay in the Word. In Christ's teaching. It is truth. Do not wander from it. 

3. Prepare for battle. Put on all your armour. 

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. 

So I'm sharing this reminder today with you. Do not fall asleep. Do not grow tired of doing good. Love one another. Remain in Christ. Put on all your armour. Be ready for battle. Be in the look out. Because the master of lies and the evil powers in the heavenly realms are against you! 

But be encouraged! 

Romans 8:31b-37 If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

How to make it through sleep deprivation

A newborn or young bub who does not sleep for whatever reason is not the only one not sleeping. We mums cop a lot of sleep less nights too. 

Here's my list of things that help me make it through on very little or no sleep! 

1. Hot chocolate (or a cup of tea) in the morning. It is something the help liven the senses. The smell and the taste. 

2. A hot shower. This helps me to relax and to feel clean and fresh. Honestly just the sound of water will help. But there's nothing like the warm free flowing water rushing over a tired body. 

3. A big breakfast. I don't know what everyone else has found. But if I don't sleep I tend to be more hungry. I guess it's because instead of the rest and recharge we should be getting (when asleep) we are in fact loosing and still putting out. So our battery is really empty. A big healthy breakfast is my way of trying to re-fuel. I try to stick with natural and high nutritious foods. They give me more energy. But lots of breakie is definitely helpful. 

4. A daily morning devotional. I know a mummy's morning is busy and not really her own. But my day goes a lot better with even a 2-5 minute quiet time with God. It gives me a Kingdom perspective instead of a "poor me I'm so tired - blah, blah, blah" mentality. 

This is probably the most important thing on the list for me... 

5. Use your time overnight wisely. If you have to be awake holding a crying, sick or teething baby don't use it to just hold the baby. If you can sleep you should definitely sleep BUT if you can't sleep because you have to sit up and hold your dear little one then... I choose to either get the Word of God into me by reading the Bible (via a smart phone app). Or if you can't even sit down and you need to rock the bub then pace your hallway or nursery with a heart of prayer. Pray, pray and pray some more. 

I know that both of these things seem like a lot of effort for the middle of the night. But I've come to know (over the course of having my own 3 bubs) that they are worth it. Not only are they beneficial to my relationship with God and my spiritual walk but through this choice God gives me added strength. And I get a sense that what I'm doing is making a difference and my time is accomplishing something. 

I'm no longer pacing the hallway just to make a baby stop crying or to rock a baby to sleep. Now I'm pacing the hallway to declare God's presence over my family. I'm praying for our nation and it's leaders. I'm praying for breakthrough in other peoples lives. I'm praying for persecuted Christians right across the world. 

Then when the sun rises the next morning my night has been good and productive regardless of how much sleep I did or didn't get. 

I hope you're getting a good nights sleep. 

Love you! 
Nat xx 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Let's make it happen!!

Did any of you ever hear of or participate in something called See You at the Pole? I did. It was an Australian student ran initiative (started by Tina Waldron) to intentionally set aside time to pray for the their schools and peers. The time and date got set and everyone who chose to participate would meet at the flag pole to pray. It was awesome! 

It's no secret I'm a big pray-er. So when God gave me this new idea last night (while I was rocking my baby who didn't feel like sleeping apart from my arms) I was like COOL! I really like the idea 😊 

The thing is... When you choose to set aside time with intention and purpose to pray about something specific - BIG things happen. 

I believe things always happen when you pray. We may not always see it but in heaven and in the spiritual realm things are happening. 

So I'd like to start a similar initiative. There's no flag pole since we are all across the nation and the world. But we will have a date, many dates. One day each and every month! 

As a mum I can sometimes have great intentions but not always follow through. I forget or something just needs to be done or I literally run out of hours in my day. Well i'm going to remind myself and you (please join me!) to pray regularly for things bigger than our own personal everyday lives. I'm going to make a difference. 

I would like to encourage you to get on board and encourage others also to join us in prayer. To make a difference. 

What are we praying for? Persecuted Christians. Christians who are being bullied, ridiculed, disadvantaged, abused and murdered for their faith. 

A quick google search defines persecution like this... 

persecution
pəːsɪˈkjuːʃn/
noun

hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression. 

"her family fled religious persecution" 

synonyms: oppression, victimization, maltreatment, ill treatment, mistreatment, abuse, ill usage, discrimination, tyranny, tyrannization, punishment, torment, torture 

I would want prayer if I was in that situation. Lots of prayer! If I was having a hard time because of persecution I would want to know that my brothers and sisters in Christ cared and were praying earnestly for me. 

There are people out there who need our prayers. Our prayers might even be all that is keeping them going. 

Let's not forget them. Let's remember those in our spiritual family who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ Jesus. For those who in the face of persecution are still standing despite conditions and situations that none should have to know. 

Let's pray for more courage and boldness, for mercy and grace, for protection and guidance. For wisdom. Let's lift them up in prayer. Let's pray that the God of peace will crush Satan underneath their feet and that they will feel His mighty presence with them always. 

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 

When: On the 15th day of every month! 

I know and believe they need prayer every day and most likely every hour. But as a body of believers - the church if we pray together, on the same day, for the same thing maybe we'll have a bigger effect. After all, where there is unity God commands a blessing! 

So the challenge is set. Ask others to join you. Spread the word. Tell your family, friends, church, mums group etc. Put it in your calendar. Set a reminder on your phone. Share this post. Invite them to an event. Tag them on Facebook. Use these hashtags #prayingforpersecutedchristians #p4pc

Let's make it happen!