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Archive for January, 2011

Well, I survived the baby shower and I think without 1 jealous, envious or self pitying thought. But I must add with the help of the Lord. For the last few days I prayed about it constantly, asking God to help me. I knew if it was left up to me alone I would have failed the test again. I hope I passed the test though…

Why am I not sure? Because I didn’t stay all the way through. It started at 12h00 and I made plans for something else from 14h00. I thought almost 2 hours would be enough for a baby shower. Well it turns out the expecting mother’s own mother was late. By the time I left at 13h45, she was not there yet. They were waiting for her and didn’t want to start opening the presents until the other granny was there. So I missed out on that, and I’m not really sorry I did…

It was still not easy though, because there were little toddlers of about 1-2 years old and they were so cute! Also the mommies all loved to chat about pregnancy and having babies, etc, and off course the other pregnant neighbour was there too (her baby shower was last week and I was not invited to that one, so I dodged a bullet there!) Most of the ladies I did know however wanted to chat about other stuff, so I think it went well. There was a lot of joking and laughing going on and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly! Laughter is definitely the best medicine…

It turned out that because it was this neighbour’s second baby, they decided to make the baby shower a family affair. Children and husbands were also invited and they planned to party until late at night. I think that was also a reason they did not really worry about opening the presents early. I wouldn’t say that we are really friends, more friendly neighbours and I thought initially that it would be OK to plan something for later.

I hope my effort was good enough in the eyes of God. I hope my attitude was acceptable and that He found me obedient to His will…

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Sharing is caring:

Today I want to share some video’s to show you how cute KT is. In the first video she is sharing her squeaky toy with Shumi. She has shared her toys and her food with our neighbour’s puppy Tess as well. Those two are together most of the time. They love to play for hours. In the second video KT is playing with some fake roses, I don’t know where she got them and she and Tess were playing around with them. Afterwards the flowers were pretty much destroyed…

Thank you for all the prayers for Shumi – he is much better again.  He hasn’t had any more bleeding like when I posted the previous picture and I must admit I was really shaken up and stressed because of that.  I am now even more determined to confess healing scriptures over him.  I am not going to allow the devil to defeat me here! 

My mom had her PET scan yesterday, but she will only get her results on 8 February, when she sees her oncologist again.  In the mean time we are confident that she is completely healed and we are not going to worry about the results…

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I’ve been getting so many messages on waiting for the past 2 days that it is obvious to me that God wants me to understand why we go through this waiting process and how to deal with it.  First I read about it in Joy.ce’s book Bat.tlefie.ld of the mi.nd, then I heard a message from her yesterday on TV and then this morning I read about waiting in my Bible study.  Now I have blogged about waiting quite a bit recently, but obviously this is a topic that I need to revisit often…

Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV):  5I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.  6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”

Let me start with the first message from Joy.ce on waiting patiently and she says that:  “Patience is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.  Waiting is part of life.  Many people don’t “wait well”, and yet we actually spend more time in our lives waiting than we do receiving.  We need to learn to enjoy where we are on our way to where we are going!

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV):  36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”  This scripture tells us that without patience and endurance we will not receive the promises of God and look what Hebrews 6:12 (NIV) says:  12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

The proud man runs in the strength of his own flesh and tries to make things happen in his own timing.  Pride says, “I’m ready now!”  Humility says, “God knows best, and He will not be late!”  A humble man waits patiently; he actually has a “reverential fear” of moving in the strength of his own flesh.  But a proud man tries one thing after another, all to no avail.

Proverbs 16:25 (NIV):  25There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

We must learn that sometimes in the spiritual realm a straight line is not the shortest distance between us and where we want to be.  It may just be the shortest distance to destruction!  We must learn to be patient and wait on the Lord, even if it seems that He is taking us in a roundabout way to get to our desired destination.

There are multitudes of unhappy, unfulfilled Christians in the world simply because they are busy trying to make something happen, instead of waiting patiently for God to bring things to pass in His own time and His own way.  When you are trying to wait on God, the devil will pound your mind continuously demanding that you “do something.”  He wants to move you in fleshly zeal because he knows that the flesh profits nothing. 

John 6:63 (NIV):  63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

Romans 13:14 (Amp):  14But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).”

Impatience is a sign of pride, and the only way to answer pride is humility.

1 Peter 5:6 (Amp):  6Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,”

This phrase “lower yourself in your own estimation” does not mean to think badly of yourself.  It simply means, “don’t think you can solve all your problems on your own.”  Instead of pridefully taking matters in our own hands, we must humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand.  When he knows that the time is right, He will exalt us and lift us up.

As we wait on God and refuse to move in fleshly zeal, there is a “dying to self” that takes place.  We begin to die to our own ways and our own timing and to become alive to God’s will and way for us.  We should always be promptly obedient to do whatever God tells us to do, but we should have a godly fear of fleshly pride.  Remember it is pride that is at the root of impatience.  The proud man says, “please don’t make me wait for anything; I deserve everything immediately.”

When you are tempted to become frustrated and impatient, I recommend that you begin to say, “Lord, I want Your will in Your timing.  I do not want to be ahead of You, nor do I want to be behind you.  Help me, Father, to wait patiently on You!”

I have previously blogged about waiting expectantly here, but in the other message of Joy.ce there was more on that topic and I feel I need to share that with you as well.

Joy.ce said:  “We have the wrong idea about waiting.  We think it’s a passive action, that we should do nothing while we wait.

Actually it’s one of the most spiritually active times in your life.  If you study the word wait in Greek you will discover that it means to be expecting, looking for, longing for, with an outstretched hand and outstretched heart for all the goodness of God to show up in your life.

The truth of the matter is that when we get our breakthrough, God has been working in our life for a long time already.  Just because you don’t see anything or don’t feel anything, it doesn’t mean that God is not working.  God is working in our lives as long as we believe and pray.   We have to learn to look in the spirit; we have to learn to see with a spiritual eye.

Psalm 62:1 (Amp):  1FOR GOD alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.”

Who are you waiting on?  The government?  Your friends?  God did not create you for dependency on a bunch of other people and a bunch of things, but He wants us to depend on Him and he wants us to let Him work within us and to do a greater thing than what we possibly can imagine.
 
Joy.ce read a book from An.drew Mur.ray called: The belie.vers se.cret on wait.ing on God.  She learnt from that book that we have to live in a ready state.  I’m ready God!  You have to believe that today is the day!  Today is the day of my breakthrough!  You don’t want to be in a state of:  Well, who knows when I’ll get a job.  Who knows – I guess I’ll lose my house…  The enemy loves it when we get into agreement with him.  When we expect bad things we open the door for the devil. When we expect good things we open the door for God.

Waiting on God is not a passive, lazy thing, but it is in your heart aggressively expecting God.  It is to live with that enthusiasm that today something good is going to happen to me!  Today I’m going to have favour where ever I go!  Today my phone is going to ring with good news!  Today is my day!  Today I’m going to feel better than I did yesterday!  Today God’s healing power is working in me!  We must be aggressively expecting God to provide abundantly for all that we need.  Andrew Murray says we ought to live with a Holy expectancy.

See it is not disrespectful to say, “God, I’m expecting you to fulfil every promise that you’ve been giving me through Your Word.  I’m expecting You.”  God likes that!

Lamentations 3:25 (NIV):  25The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;”

What gives you the right to go to God?  You have a need and you have the Word (the Bible).”

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Psalm 121 (NIV): 
A song of ascents.  
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? 
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore”

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This past weekend was a difficult one again.  I was under attack from so many different angles.  My post of yesterday dealt with some of it, but it actually got much worse yesterday after I posted.  Mostly because Shumi’s nose bleeds got even worse, but the devil tried very hard to upset me with lots of other lies too. 

Today his nose bled for at least an hour at one stage.  I think he lost a lot of blood.  Thankfully it stopped again and amazingly Shumi still looks fine.  We are trying to keep him quiet because it seems that the bleeding gets worse if he walks around, runs or plays with KT (yes, he still tries to do that!) compared to being kept quiet in one place.  I am scared to take him to the vet, because he might suggest that we need to put him down and I cannot do that.  I still have hope that God will heal him completely.  Amazingly it seemed his blocked nostril was quite open when it bled, because Shumi was blowing the blood out of that nostril.  It does not look like he is in pain; it just looks uncomfortable to have the blood coming out of his nose like that.  He cannot lie down with his head when it’s bleeding, and you can see he would love to lie down a sleep a bit at times. 

Here is a picture of what he looked like at one stage today.  It looks horrible and it breaks my heart to see him like that, but that was the worst he looked and he looks much better now again:

Yesterday afternoon I got out my book the Bat.tlefie.ld of the mi.nd, again and I must say it helps to seek God in these difficult times because I get a helpful message every time.  The message I got this morning was about:  “Please make everything easy; I can’t take it if things are too hard!”  Joy.ce says the following:

“The Helper

John 14:16 (NIV):  16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever—“

Things get hard when we are trying to do them independently without leaning on and relying on God’s grace.  If everything in life were easy, we would not even need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us.  The Bible refers to Him as “the helper”.  He is in us and with us all the time to help us, to enable us to do what we cannot do – and, I might add, to do with ease what would be hard without Him.

The easy way and the hard way

Exodus 13:17 (NIV):  17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

You can be sure that anywhere God leads you, He is able to keep you.  He never allows more to come on us than we can bear. [1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):  13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”]  Whatever He orders He pays for.  We do not have to live in a constant struggle if we learn to lean on Him continually for the strength we need.

If you know God has asked you to do something, don’t back down just because it gets hard.  When things get hard, spend more time with Him, lean more on Him and receive more grace from Him.  [Hebrews 4:16 (NIV):  16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”]

Grace is the power of God coming to you at no cost to you, to do through you what you cannot do yourself.  Beware of thoughts that say, “I can’t do this, it’s just too hard.”

Sometimes God leads us the hard way instead of the easy way, because He is doing a work in us.  How will we ever learn to lean on Him, if everything in our lives is so easy that we can handle it by ourselves?

God led the Children of Israel the long, hard way because they were still cowards, and He had to do a work in them to prepare them for the battles they would face in the Promised Land.

Most people think that entering the Promised Land means no more battles, but that is incorrect.  If you read the accounts of what took place after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and went in to possess the land of promise, you will see that they fought one battle after another.  But they won all those battles fought in God’s strength and under His direction.

God led them the longer, harder route even though there was a shorter, easier route because He knew they were not ready for the battles they would face in possessing the land.  He was concerned that when they saw the enemy, they might run back to Egypt, so He took them the harder way to teach them Who He was and that they could not depend on themselves.

When a person is going through a hard time, his mind wants to give up.  Satan knows that if he can defeat us in our mind, he can defeat us in our experience.  That is why it is so important that we do not lose heart, grow weary and faint.

Hang tough!

Galatians 6:9 (NIV):  9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Losing heart and fainting refer to giving up in the mind.  The Holy Spirit tells us not to give up in our mind, because if we hold on, we will eventually reap.

Think about Jesus.  Immediately after being baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the devil.  He did not complain and become discouraged and depressed.  He did not think or speak negatively.  He did not become confused trying to figure out why this had to  happen!  He went through each test victoriously.

In the midst of His trial and temptation, our Lord did not wander around the wilderness forty days and nights talking about how hard it was.  He drew strength from His heavenly Father and came out in victory. [Luke 4:1-13]

You and I have the mind of Christ, and we can handle things the way He did:  By being mentally prepared through “victory thinking” – not “give up thinking”

Success follows suffering

1 Peter 4:1-2 (Amp):  1SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], 2So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.”

There is a suffering “in the flesh” that we will have to endure in order to do God’s will.  There may be an individual in your life who is very difficult to be around, and yet you know that God wants you to stick with the relationship and not run away from it.  Your flesh suffers, in that it is not easy to be around that person, but you can prepare yourself by thinking properly about the situation.

Self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency:

Philippians 4:12-13 (Amp):  12I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.  13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”

Right thinking “arms” us for battle.  Going into battle with wrong thinking is like going to the front lines in a war without a weapon.  If we do that, we won’t last long.

The Israelites were “whiners,” which was one reason why they wandered around forty years, making an 11 day trip.  They whined about every difficulty and complained about each new challenge – always talking about how hard everything was.  Their mentality was:  “Please make everything easy; I can’t take it if things are too hard!”

I realized recently that many believers are Sunday warriors and Monday whiners.  They talk a good talk on Sunday – in church with their friends, but on Monday, when it’s time to “walk the talk” and there is nobody around to impress, they faint at the slightest test.

If you are a whiner and a complainer, get a new mindset that says:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

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Yesterday we watched another program of Joy.ce Me.yer and she talked about attitude again and how we must learn to be happy for others that have what we don’t have.  She said something about: “there is a reason why you’ve been a bridesmaid 16 times and never a bride.  Until you learn to bless those that have what you have and be genuinely happy for them, and not be jealous or envious, only then will you get your breakthrough.”  She said we must learn to be happy with what we have and not to think that we can only be happy if we get something specific (i.e. a baby!)

Guess what I was thinking about when she said that.  My attitude towards other pregnant women, because I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately!  Well I heard the message, deleted the episode when it was finished and we were just wondering what to watch next when we saw how someone pushed a piece of paper underneath our front door.

I jumped up to open the door, not looking at the paper, to see who it was.  The door was locked and I had to scramble to get the key to open it and when I got outside it was my one pregnant neighbour, her husband and their 1 year old daughter.  The piece of paper was a baby shower invitation.  It’s for next Saturday.

I have mentioned her before – she is the one that had a miscarriage just before me and exactly 6 weeks later she was pregnant again, and 6 weeks pregnant at that!  And before you think she is a fertile 22 year old – no!  She is at least 35 or 36 years old!  Not much younger than I am.  So DH and I chatted a bit with them and they went on handing out some more invitations.  My first initial reaction was – there is no way I’m going to that baby shower!  I’ll buy her something and give it to her separately. 

Later at night, just before I was getting ready for bed and I was saying some scriptures over Shumi I realized that I was upset and tearful suddenly.  At first I thought it was about Shumi, because his nose has been bleeding quite a bit lately, but then I realized that it is not only that.  I remembered that just after I spoke to them I went to the loo and I saw some spotting.  Not much, only a drop or two, but still spotting.  I was hoping, praying and believing for a miracle pregnancy and here on CD 24 of my cycle I get to see spotting again…  I’m reminded that my body does not always work perfectly…

I was struck down by doubts again, not just doubts of ever having children, but also whether Shumi will be healed.  And that is why I got upset.  I just got down and prayed to God to help me.  To help me to get through this test and pass it with flying colours this time.  I am so sick of wandering around in the wilderness and walking around the same mountain time and again…  Like the Israelites that wandered around the desert for 40 years in what is an 11 day journey on foot.

So I have decided that I am going to that baby shower.  I am going to bless that family.  I am going to be happy for them.  I am going to admit to God when I’m sad, I going to try to not be jealous or envious, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to ask for strength from God – continuously.  If I am envious or jealous I will ask for forgiveness immediately…  I will not complain or be unhappy about it.  I am going to enjoy that baby shower!  And I hope that it will be good enough for God.  I am not going to dread our other neighbour’s baby shower.  She is about 3 weeks behind this one, so I might even get another invitation soon, but I will do exactly the same should I get an invitation to hers as well. 

Please God let me pass this test!  Give me strength to do what You want me to do!  Please help me to die in the flesh and not act according to my feelings, but act the way You want me to!  Amen

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I heard another awsome message yesterday that I want to share with you.  This message is from Angus Buchan and just confirms some things that I have heard lately, and which I’m trying to apply to my life. 

2 Chronicles 20:15-30 (NIV):  15 He said: Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.  17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’  18 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.  19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.  20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.  21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:  Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.

 22As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.  23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.  24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked towards the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no-one had escaped.  25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value— more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.  26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day.  27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.  28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets.  29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.  30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”

“The prophet came to King Jehoshaphat and said:  “The Lord is with you”.  So is the Lord with you or are you trying to make your own plan?  It happens to all of us, as soon as we are in a tight spot we try to make a plan for ourselves, but those plans don’t always work!  God said to King Jehoshaphat, and the same is applicable to us, that He will fight the battle for us and that He will win!  So the message here is that if we are in an impossible situation that we should surrender to God, trust Him, do not fight and see what God will do for you! 

So often we become impatient if God does not answer our prayers immediately, so we want to make our own plans.  But don’t do that! 

Psalm 46:10 (NIV):  10 Be still, and know that I am God…”

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV):  …because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Mark 11:24 (NIV):  24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

The battle is not ours to fight, it is the Lord’s as long as we are in his divine covering and anointing.  You can’t ask God to help you if you are not willing to walk in His precepts and commandments…

Because King Jehoshaphat was a man of great faith, he bowed down in prayer and worshipped God.  This battle was impossible to win – the enemy was too great.  Now that might sound ridiculous to some people to pray and worship in such dire circumstances, but King Jehoshaphat knew what God wanted him to do.

Sometimes we might also be in an impossible situation, and we should do the same in those situations.  We must get on our knees and ask God for help, we should acknowledge that we cannot do anything in the circumstances and just worship God.  We might not be able to do anything about it, but Jesus can!

Matthew 7:7 (NIV):  7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV):  3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Allow God to fight the battle for you and let me tell you something, you will see a victory like you’ve never seen in your life before!  But it takes a lot of courage not to get involved.  It is so much harder to wait, than to try and fix things yourself.  I (Angus Buchan) think it was Oswald Chambers that said:  “It takes faith to live from day to day.  It doesn’t take faith for the climaxes, because adrenalin does that for you.  It doesn’t take faith in the low times, because you are on your knees anyway, but it takes faith to live one day at a time.”  That is so true!

How about another example:  When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, Moses said to them:

Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV):  13 Moses answered the people:  Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

From that moment until today Egypt has not been a threat to Israel ever again.  My friends please know that there is no enemy that is too big for God.  No enemy!  I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ takes over today – stand back, start to praise Him, not for your problems, but for your victory that is coming – He can and will do it for you!”

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