The marathonRead Now
THE MARATHON RUNNER
The marathon runner trained day after day running many kilometers for fitness and strength. On weekends extra kilometers are added for additional toughness. No matter how his muscles hurt, his lungs protested, he ran on over sand dunes, down streets, up hills and down. He would not give up, jogging always jogging.
For the Marathon man winning wasn’t the issue, it was finishing the race, proving to himself he could do it. The hours and days of training, sacrificing, discipline paid off when he ran a personal best in the event. The accolades of the family as they clustered around him added to the sense of satisfaction and achievement.
THE RACE TO THE CROSS
Jesus Christ was a marathon man, he may never have run an organized race, but he ran the race to win the world and save it from itself. Jesus race ended on the cross, his family stood around him not offering accolades of praise but sobs of sorrow, bewilderment and wondering why he had to die. His disciples had no praise for him; some distanced themselves from him.
The marathon of the crucifixion over, death, hell, and wickedness conquered, Jesus sat down at the right hand of his Father. The Father accepted what he had done and gave him all the accolades of Heaven. Jesus saw his marathon achieved all his Father decreed, and humankind saved.
Jesus entered the throne room and sat down at his Father’s right hand. When Jesus entered the throne room, he threw the door wide open for us all to come and live in the presence of the Father forever; the door would never close again to us. We, the children of God were made good enough by Christ to live in the throne room forever.
For you and I, life is a marathon race. We strive each day to live as a Christian, but at the end of the day, our striving has brought us nothing but emptiness. Gritting our teeth and saying we’ll be true at whatever the cost, to the bitter end, doesn’t do any good. If our Christian life is just going through the motions, we’ll soon become disillusioned. If we feel God hasn’t kept his promises; he hasn’t answered our prayers; he hasn’t made us a success like we hoped he would. Our marathon becomes an amble. We search for the perfect church, but can’t find it. We cease to go to church, we drop out, cease to believe. We move into the secular world because it seems a happier place. It shows we are running by the rules without a relationship with the Father. Without a personal relationship, with the Father, the rules of the Christian life are meaningless.
Marathon man/woman, if we are running by the rules of our religion, no wonder we are disillusioned and want to quit the Christian life. The staying power of the Christian marathon is the relationship of a powerful love that sustains through the ups and downs, highs and lows of life’s marathon.
FROM GLORY TO GLORY
We can run the race well; disillusionment doesn’t have to set in. What if the church isn’t perfect? There is no perfect church. If the revelation of the powerful love God has for us lights our heart, perfect church or not; we’ll not be thinking about dropping out but moving forward from glory to glory.
Yes, we are people made over by God. Not made over by our effort to keep the rules but made over by Jesus Christ who comes to live within our spirit when we commit to him by faith. Let us accept the complete make-over of our spiritual self Jesus offers by inviting him into our heart. The Father sees our make-over by Jesus’ as perfect. Let’s run the marathon of life in Christ and he in us.
‘Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, running with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ Heb 12: 1
the last leafRead Now
THE LAST LEAF
The leaf hung on to its twig, determined not to let go. It watched as the other leaves fell to the ground, or blew into piles along fences and around tree trunks. It thought, ‘I will not follow them, I will not fall and die and rot in the ground, I will live on.’
The wind blew, but the leaf hung on, the frost settled over everything, the leaf shivered but hung on. It would not let go. Its determination was supernatural.
What the leaf didn’t know was that when it fell, when it rotted into the ground, it fed next year’s next year’s young shoots, next year’s fruit. I t would live again in another form or body. It would rise to a new life. It would not die.
Like the leaf we hang onto life, we don’t want to die. We make the Doctors affluent in our search for life. The chemist is wealthy as he searches for the elixir of youth or the skin cream that dissolves the wrinkles.
Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.’ John 11: 25. Jesus had to die, to overcome death and rise again and when we believe and accept Jesus as our saviour, he raises us with him and we overcome death and live forever. Jesus rose to a new life, a new life in us. Jesus lives in us and through us. ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ Gal. 2: 20
In following Jesus, like the leaf, we have to let go of our twig and drop off and accept the fact that in dying to our old life we will be living a new life through Jesus. We will serve others, our community, our families, our children. We will not die but multiply in the lives we touch, and we will leave a deposit in whatever we touch.
The leaf is determined to save its life; it will shrivel and disintegrate and be good for nothing if it stays on the tree. The same principle applies to our lives, live for our self alone and our life will disintegrate. Lose our life in and for Jesus, and we will live a rich and abundant life and live for eternity.
Jesus said, ‘Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.’ Mark 8: 35.
the magic of loveRead Now
THE MAGIC OF LOVE
WHAT IS LOVE?
Our first love is magical and wondrous, goose-bump material.
My first love was an exploration of romance. We were both fourteen. He was short and tubby, I was tall, slim and gawky. He was not a prince on a white charger, I was no Barby doll, but we were attracted to each other.
Our first kiss was heart-stopping, a stolen moment at the primary school break-up. Not the practised film-star passion but a wet fumbling. Our relationship never grew, my parents moved to another district and we never met again.
MY SECOND LOVE
My second love was my prince on an iron horse or bicycle. He was too poor to own a car, the car would come later. Dark, handsome, average height. The chemistry was there from the start. Cupid’s arrow found its target and we married. Seventy years later we still fizz with the magic, though age has taken its toll.
MY THIRD LOVE
My third love is Christ, Son of God. This is not an Eros or romantic love but an agape love. The love of God for man and of man for God, a self-less, sacrificial love.
God’s love for us is beyond magical, it is jealous, possessive, transforming, redeeming, healing and liberating. There is no end to his love for us, no bottom, no height or width. God’s love is radical, it doesn’t matter who we are, famous or non-famous, murderous or sweet, rich or poor, successful or a dismal failure, God love us, his creation. We are the apple of his eye. D L Moody once said, ‘If you ask me why God should love us, I cannot tell. I suppose it is because he is a true Father.’
Such unconditional love is known as the grace of God, the unearned favour of God given to us not for what we have done or haven’t done, not for who we are or aren’t. Philip Yancey wrote, ‘Grace means there is nothing I can add to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make him love me less.’ Such love is the sacrificial love of agape. ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life… There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him (Jesus) to save them.’ I have no concept of such love, it is beyond my understanding that anyone could love me so much.
MY LOVE GAVE TO ME
When this wonderful truth of God’s unearned favour dawned on me the colours became brighter and prettier, I felt clean and new, I had a purpose to live. I felt I wanted to dance for a million years. I had been floundering, searching for what? Suddenly I was found and I had found Jesus, my third love, a self-sacrificing, agape love. This Agape love, this unmerited favour of God, does wonders for the self-esteem.
I want to close with this thought expressed by Paul Ellis, ‘he who has Christ lacks no good thing. In him we are fully, completely, and totally sanctified.’ A quote from an ancient letter by an early believer, ‘So you have everything when you have Christ, and you are filled with God through your union with Christ.’ (Colossians 2: 10)
smoke and shadowsRead Now
SMOKE AND SHADOWS
Worldwide there is continuing trouble with wars and rumours of wars. Governments seek peace and financial stability. Promises are made and promises are broken.
Health issues, including mental balance, cancer, the destructiveness of smoking, excessive drinking by youths and obesity problems hit the news lines. General approval of same sex marriages is pushed and gambling problems are causing governments huge amounts of money. Sadly, what seemed happy marriages, even Christian ones, are suddenly broken and some churches have problems
;Solomon, who studied what was going on around him in his kingdom, came to this conclusion: ‘No one can predict misfortune...men and women are caught by accidents evil and sudden’ (Ecclesiastes 9:12)’. In fact he concluded that so much in life is like ‘smoke and shadows.’ Regarding the future, he said, ‘It's true that no one knows what's going to happen, or when.’ (8:7).
But, in the midst of continuing world and national uncertainties today, Christians who deeply trust their God can work through even the bleakest of situations and come through every dark tunnel full of light , joy, peace. No magic formula; just a simple trust in a great loving God and his word.
Winston Churchill, in the dark days of World War 2, delivered many strong positive comments to encourage a little island under threat of defeat on several military fronts and probable invasion. Such as the following abridged collection of insights: ‘It is a wicked thing to take away man’s hope. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. To believe is to be strong.’
Christians have hope, great power in Jesus Christ. But unfortunately many, who are supposed to be positive in every situation, seem to foolishly delight in living in the past! Yet we are meant to be people of the present creating - with the Holy Spirit's help.
Grabbing hold of the biblical promise of Jeremiah 29:11 and living life to the full. Getting on with life. But all too often we allow the mistakes and the bad-case scenarios of yesteryear to bind us today from enjoying life and ‘moving on.' We must refuse to live there and move on!
The truth is that we've all made errors of judgment both in speech and action – including some things we're ashamed of, but one of the precious things about being a Christian is that when we ask forgiveness we're totally forgiven and can ‘get a life.'
the christmas manRead Now
When did Father Christmas make his debut?
Christmas is a celebration that is steeped in both Christian and pagan traditions.
Time has fused them together until there is no line of demarcation. Should a Christian try to draw battle lines, they are heavily laden with guilt. They are told that Christianity is only a kill-joy, depriving children of the wonder and fantasy of Christmas.
So, the question arises, why try to separate the Christian and the pagan? What is wrong with this marriage of convenience? Then there is the question of culture? To what extent does a Christian adopt national culture as opposed to the culture of the Kingdom? But then, what is national culture when Christmas is deeply rooted in European culture? Who then can be eulogised as the Christmas Man? Santa Claus, saint Nicholas, Father Christmas or Jesus Christ.
In the fourth century, Saint Nicholas was Bishop of Myra, Asia Minor. It is believed that many of his long voyages across the sea, he calmed and stilled several storms, earning the title of Patron Saint of Sailors. Legend says he saved three maidens from prostitution by providing them with a dowry, so they were able to marry well. He then became Patron Saint of Maidens. Another legend concerning Saint Nicholas is told of how he raised three boys from the dead. He is best known for his kindness to poor children of the time.
Todays Father Christmas has become the alto-ego of Saint Nicholas, and champions the poor and distributes gifts and largess. While much good is done in the name of Father Christmas, his power is vicarious. Parents are prepared to borrow large sums of money to buy their children miracles in the name of Father Christmas. Nearly everyone during the Christmas period gives gifts in the name of an alto-ego. Why not give gifts openly in the name of Jesus Christ?
Truth is always stranger than fiction. The strange truth is that God sent a Christmas Man. A man who would put Christmas into the heart of man forever. So, the Christmas could be experienced every day by everyone. The poor would have a champion; miracles would happen, women would have a provider, and the dead could be raised.
This Man began life as a babe in a dirty manger, wrapped in bandages or perhaps even rags. This Man draws no crowd, no tinsel is erected to welcome him. Just a few shepherds called at the stable and several magi surreptitiously brought three gifts. Only the heavens burst open to reveal choirs of angels singing undreamt of melodies of praise. Brilliant pure light streamed from the sky.
THE CHRISTMAS MAN
This Christmas Man became a death trap for a generation of baby boys, as a power-hungry Roman Emperor sought to destroy him. The nation of Israel was in mourning rather than rejoicing. Where was the spirit of love, joy, peace and good will, that was to follow this child? No Christmas Pageant here, only a pageant of death as hundreds of funeral biers wound their way to the cemetery.
This poverty-stricken child bore the names of Emmanuel, God with us and Jesus, He shall save his people. Incredible names, hinting at his origins and calling; his responsibilities and power.
This God with us; this Saver of his people, Jesus Christ, is God’s gift to humanity. God presented his precious Son to humanity stripped of fame, $200.00-dollar Italian suits, and Hilton Hotels, so mankind could see the reality of Jesus. There could be no pretence. People cannot bear the plain unadulterated truth. We must always seek the fantasy, adorning truth and reality with pretence, so missing the freedom that truth brings.
Jesus is truth, yet he has been made a fantasy man. Father Christmas, the fantasy man is given the position of truth. There is a small cathedral outside of Bethlehem that marks the birth place of Jesus. Behind the alter in the church is a cave lit with silver lamps. You can enter and admire the ancient building. The cave can be entered and a star embedded into the floor to mark the birth place of Jesus. This reverence to the place of birth rather than the Man just bears out the importance we place on fantasy rather than truth.
THE UNSPEAKABLE GIFT
The miracles that Jesus does far outweighs anything that Saint Nicholas or his alto-ego can do. As for maidens in distress, Jesus offers not a dowry for marriage but a new heart, a new life, a new protector. During a mission many years ago, a fallen woman was touched by God. As she heard of how much God loved her, her hardness of heart was broken up and she wept buckets of tears. She discovered the purity of virginity again. Jesus had cleansed, forgiven, given her a new heart, and made her a new woman. Jesus had given this woman something far more precious than a dowry. This woman enjoyed Christmas every day.
Jesus was the unspeakable gift of God. He came carrying the unsearchable riches of God. These gifts are not material, but relational, pertaining to character and the heart. To receive, one must believe in Jesus and the Saver of his people. There are no conditions other than faith. The greatest of the gifts Jesus gives to the believer is eternal life. That is why when we choose Jesus, the gift of God, we have Christmas in our hearts forever.
November 11th, 2022Read Now
When Bad Things happen to Good People.
How do we, as Christians who believe in a loving, just, and good God, cope when tragic things happen to us? I found myself in this situation when the doctor told me that our 15 week old unborn baby was going to die. It was like a nightmare and certainly something that happens to other families. But it happened to my husband and me. The baby had developed major chromosomal abnormalities when, soon after conception, the chromosomes didn’t divide correctly. I was told that he (we later discovered he was a boy) would have major intellectual and physical disabilities and would most likely die before my due date. How does one walk that journey? I found comfort in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God...” I looked to other Christian material to find guidance but mostly found stories about healing. There was no guide to navigate this tragedy. But we know that healing doesn’t happen to everyone. Faithful Christians have died in car and plane crashes and from cancer. I studied tragedy and suffering in the bible and found that there was plenty of it. As Christians we aren’t wrapped in cotton wool and made immune to it. God showed me a picture of a T-junction and seemed to be asking me to choose either His way of getting through this or the opposite, the world’s way. His way was to trust Him to strengthen and sustain me. I chose His way and, to my delight, found that my faith went from strength to strength. I learnt to cling to God in a way I’d never needed to before. Ten days after the first diagnosis the baby was born. He was about 20 cm long and red all over. Half of his stomach was in his umbilical chord and had a large fluid-filled sac on his neck. He was wrapped up in a little blanket and Johannes and I held him and thought of all the potential that would never be. We named him Peter. I took comfort in the fact that Peter’s abnormalities were so bad he was better off not to have lived. We said goodbye and left him at the hospital the next day. We already had two young sons so I had to focus on the day-to-day realities of looking after them, which probably helped. We held a memorial service at our Church soon after. Friends were wonderfully supportive with kind words, hugs, cards, and flowers. One lady gave me a piece of great advice; to grieve fully and not try to suppress it. I read lots about grief and the various stages one goes through. Three years later we had another son who was completely healthy. Now they are all growing up fast, with two at high school and one at primary school. Kaye Palmer , Adelaid
The TreasureRead Now
Seek treasure. Christopher and Robert, two blonde-haired boys of six and eight years of age, sons of my best friend, were an imaginative pair.
They were rich and in possession of a treasure chest of gold and jewels beyond rich. The treasure chest was theirs because they had fought the pirates and won the treasure. They had it all.
Two pairs of blue eyes glowed with the fire of adventure as they dug a hole on a sandy beach under a palm tree on an island in the Ocean of Nowhere. They marked the spot X on a map they had made of crocodile skin.
A battle with the enemy ensued. Chris and Rob had hidden in the jungle but alas the angry pirates discovered them. The two boys fought to the last breath. They were left battered, bleeding and bruised, but the enemy were all dead to a man.
The dream faded. The treasure vanished. All that was left were pieces of broken tile, bits of timber, a plastic runnel and scraps of rubber. The tropical island faded to become a suburban backyard, filled with the paraphernalia of a family. The ordinary took over.
There is a treasure that doesn’t vanish, that doesn’t tarnish, that never loses its value. A wealth that lights up our life with joy, love, peace. In today’s world of mental illness, homelessness and poverty, these are treasures that glow white-hot in the darkness.
Where do we find this treasure? The map is the Bible. It will tell us all we need to know about how to find the treasure. The treasure I’m talking about is Jesus, God’s Son. When we have Jesus, we have everything, untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Thought for the Day: For where your heart is, there will be your treasure.
During the first two-three years of being in charge of the Aboriginal Children’s Home in Oodnadatta, South Australia, Ruth Bulpitt had a tough time.
Because Ruth worked amongst the Aboriginal people, the white folk of the town wouldn’t have anything to do with her. ‘What’s the use of looking after the niggers?’ they’d say.
Here is an extract from her biography, A Very fortunate Life. “I’d go down to the Australian Inland Mission and introductions to different white people who visited would happen. There were no barriers; we were all friendly. Everyone talked to me while I was at the hostel but once out on the street; it was another matter. I would walk along the street doing the shopping and say; ‘Hello,’ to this one or that one who I met at the Mission and they would have nothing to do with me. They would cross the street to avoid me, wouldn’t even answer me. Being shunned was the way of life as House Mother to a group of Aboriginal children without parents or Home or anyone to care for them. Until the Education Department agreed that the children could attend the Primary School.
Later, when the children from the camps were allowed to participate at the public school. Some of them, I remember, used to come to me to see if they were adequately dressed and acceptable to go to school. They would bathe and change clothes at the Home before going to school; then, after school, they would return to the Home, change clothes and return to camp leaving their school clothes at the Home until tomorrow. This arrangement worked very well.
Sometimes a child would be missing because he or she had to go bush with the parents. But it did mean that camp children were able to get quite a decent education.
There was no antagonism between the black and white children once they went to the school together.
This anecdote is a picture of God and the way of the world. God is shunned; people walk on the other side of the road to avoid him. The people he created, whom he loved extravagantly and desired that no barrier would exist despise him and do their best to ignore him. The ultimate purpose of Jesus was to break down the walls and reconcile us to God in a close, personal, intimate relationship.
Thought for the Day: Sin was the barrier that stood between mankind and God. Jesus tore that barrier down by taking our sin on himself.
October 18th, 2022Read Now
Fiona Costello, guest writer
I have always felt that there is nothing on this earth that can beat the soul restoring properties which come when we let go of the constraints of modern society and join with nature. As the last few years have been full of full-time study, working, renovating, being a mum, having students, nearly losing my son and so on, I have often neglected taking time out for myself. As I sat thinking about this I remembered a time (a while ago) when I was out with my kayak enjoying the freedom of the Gulf. The craft was cutting smoothly through the crisp clean water and I took a moment to raise my face up to the sky, enjoying the contrast of the warm sunlight and cooling breeze on my face. The rhythmic strokes of the paddle kept the craft skimming along at a fair pace when to my delight I caught a glimpse of a dolphin out of the corner of my eye heading swiftly towards me. I smiled as he came up and matched his pace to mine and for about five minutes we slid as one through the water in quiet companionship. Till with a flip of his nose, as if to say goodbye, he turned and sped off. It was like he said 'I've had my break and now I have to go catch my dinner'! I smiled as I watched him slowly disappear into the horizon. Why is it that animals have this perfect balance of work and play that we humans often forget? Why is it that when we get 'off the grind stone’, even if only for a brief moment and spend time with God's creation, we feel refreshed and invigorated? More often than not though we find ourselves working at a furious pace, running around like ants that have been disturbed; taking the kids to sport, activities, coffee with friends, working, cleaning, cooking, making money to pay for our wants, getting frazzled, endlessly grinding away...We seem to be trying to get to the end of the journey when God said that it is the journey itself that is important - 'I came to give you life and life more abundantly'. We need to learn to enjoy the journey we are on. As I work in a high stress industry I know full well how easy it is to get caught up running frantically from crisis to crisis, constantly feeling stressed and using food – or for some people alcohol, cigarettes and or drugs, as a way of coping with our stress, but in reality these things actually add more stress to our mind, body and spirit, instead of helping us enjoy life. The question is: are we living an abundant life, savouring the journey, or trying to get to the end as fast as we can? The thing is, too much prolonged stress can kill or seriously disrupt your health. But on the other hand taking time out to relax and unwind can increase your health, happiness, and prospect of a long fulfilling life, my question to myself is why don't I take time out more often, to stop and enjoy life? That is the question I have been asking myself and one I intend to change, to take time out each week for myself and my family, I know I'm worth it, so are you and the benefits are truly amazing!
Luxury Apartments where people stay for a taste of the good life. Or maybe they live there on a permanent basis.
What's in a NameRead Now
What’s in a name?
Biblically speaking, there is plenty in the meaning of a name.
Out of curiosity, I decided to look up the meaning of the name Gweneth. I discovered that Gweneth was a Welsh name. It means blessed. People with the name are supposed to have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership. It’s called ‘soul urge’.
I don’t believe the meaning of my name has anything to do with my character. But I have longed to feel blessed, and be fair and good-looking. I have a deep desire or soul urge to use my abilities in the service of God. So perhaps I have lived up to my name.
What’s in a name you ask?
What’s in the name of Jesus?
The name of Jesus means ‘deliverer’, ‘rescuer’. It is a Hebrew name. From the moment Jesus was conceived, his name was to be Jesus, he would save his people. From his birth, his mission was to save we humans from our bondage to sin. He was to rescue us from our separation from the Father. Jesus bore many names referring to his royalty, such as ‘Wonderful’, ‘Counsellor,’ ‘The Mighty God,’ ‘Prince of Peace.’ He fulfilled all these names. His soul urge was to save the world. Not all the worls wants to be saved. The world wants to do its own thing, its own way. The worls uses its soul urge on its self and rejects Jesus and his saving work.
There is no other name we can call upon to rescue us, to deliver us, to restore us and make us new people. Remember the name of Jesus. Jesus saves any and everyone who calls on his name.
Thought for the Day: Experience is the name we give our mistakes.’ Oscar Wilde.
mums-Keep goingRead Now
Guest Writer - Carly Bennet
Mums Keep Going
You are doing a wonderful job.
Hi my name is Carly; I am a wife of almost six years to Michael and a mother of five. Michael is a research agronomist at the Minnipa Agricultural Centre, South Australia.
Abbey just turned 5 (but not at school yet), Jamie is 3½, Lauren is 2 and Jake and Alex are my 1 year old twins. We live in a tiny town called Minnipa on the Eyre Peninsula with a population of around 100.
If you’re wondering where Minnipa is, it’s approximately 6 hours drive west of Adelaide, but more like 8-10 hours with little children! Michael’s family are living in Adelaide and my family are in Sydney, yes I am a city girl. Since having the twins we have had many exciting and memorable times and some very hairy times. We thought we were busy before, but I think busy has now been recalibrated.
I have three children in cloth nappies and three children not walking. Lauren is hyper flexible which has delayed her walking. I feel as though I have three babies. Before you start thinking that I am a super woman/super mum and think that you could never do that, I would like you to jot down on a piece of paper the same kinds of points I did, but about yourself. You will be amazed at your achievements and how far God has bought you. I believe more and more that God has made mothers truly amazing. amazing. They go above and beyond the call of duty, they continue to care for their children when they feel as though they could not muster one more ounce of caring, then nurture when they have not slept, brushed their teeth, or showered. A simple hug from their children can reassure and encourage a burnt out mess of a woman that it is all worth while and okay.
With little children around, mothers get stressed because their house often looks like a bomb has hit and you can’t catch up. It’s only for a season. What encourages me a lot was remembering a question that my mother asked me over the phone one day when I was teary about the state of my house and the fact that she was 1,800 km away. Do you remember what your house looked like (in terms of neatness) before you were 5 years old? No I didn’t, I replied. Well what makes you think that your children will be any different? They will remember your love and the fun times that they had. Don’t be hard on yourself. God is slowly working on me to be less hard on myself. Some days I do better than others. Rest assured God is in control and everything will be okay. Take courage! “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:
Dale's storyRead Now
“Your Healing will spring forth speedily … (Isa 58:8) speedily … (Isa 58:8)
“Push!” commanded Doctor and midwife in chorus. “One for Norwood” called my cheerleader-cum-husband. In the third day of labour, weary, yet determined, I pushed, and felt the baby slide out of my tired body into the hands of the waiting staff! “It’s a boy!” My mother, waiting back at the house, cried with relief. His father scooped him up the second the staff released him and laid him in my arms. The love we both felt for this tiny mite was overwhelming. “Look at the length of his fingers, he’ll be a pianist for sure” some-one prophesied. “He’ll be tall” commented another. “He measures 20 inches already!” A week later he came home to his newly decorated orange and yellow nursery. It was the 70’s! My Mum returned home, life settled into its new routine, and I began the visits to the Infant Welfare sister. He was five weeks old when she noticed his foot. There had been some comment when he was born about a possible clubbed foot, but it was considered mild, something to be dealt with somewhere down the track. This day though, as he lay naked on the scales she was concerned. His right foot lay pointing at right angles and resisted her outward push. “That foot is bad” she said “I think you should show this to the doctor. It needs immediate attention. “What will they do?” I enquired fearfully. “Probably put him in a plaster cast for about six months” she said. Six months! It was August now and we lived in the Riverland. How would he cope in the heat? I returned home and told his father. We would pray. At that stage we were relatively new Christians, and had never prayed for healing before, so it was two timid people, feeling slightly foolish who lay the babe on our bed and laid our hands on our son. Our two adult hands covered his whole torso! “Lord, I feel a bit silly doing this” his father prayed, “but if you can, will you please heal Dale.” It was two days before I could get into the doctors. I reported what the nurse had said, so he stripped the babe and checked him over, saying nothing. He then turned to me and said “Come on it’s near enough to your six week check-up I’ll do you first and then I’ll have another look at him,” puzzled, I complied. When he finished he picked up the babe again and bent his legs frog like up and out, then he lifted his head to ask, “Which foot was it?” This was our first experience of God’s healing power through our own personal prayer.
A POEM by LYN ARTHUR
A child, not yet two - and yet ...
I bore him, he is mine ...
Or so my heart would want.
Yet in that small boy
Lies a destiny far beyond my reach.
I love him; I hold him;
I call him my own.
My home is his home;
My God is his God.
Yet in all of this I am so small.
I mold, but life makes.
I dream, but time creates realities
Some day a man, now a child.
Mine to hold, but God's to have.
In caring for older people, the carers' are encouraged to touch them on the shoulder, the hand, the arm. The caress, whether we are old or young, is so vital in making a person feel wanted, needed, loved, and esteemed of worth. Older people become isolated for many reasons and are not touched.
A woman after her husband had passed away, confided that the most significant thing she missed was the touch of her husband.
Jesus touched many people and healed them. Nothing has changed, Jesus still affects people, and they are repaired, restored, in spirit and body. Jesus desires contact with us more than we want his touch. Jesus touch still heals today.
When God touches us, we recognize how empty we are and how deeply we yearn for a touch that is more than a brief meeting.
Jesus death was a means to open the door for God to win us, to touch us, heal us, give us n abundance of life. There is so much fulness, completeness in the touch of God. When we reach out and touch God’s heart, we are overwhelmed by a love so unfathomable we can only surrender ourselves and live for his touch.
Thought for the Day: I feel the healing hands of God, touch my heart and kiss my soul.’ Harley King.
marmalade JAmRead Now
I have faith that the marmalade jam I have prepared and have on the stove cooking and which I am stirring is going to become marmalade.
I have followed the recipe to the last comma; the color is light, the bubbles are rising and breaking with a gluggy plop. My faith is in my preparation, the length of time spent cooking, the amount of sugar content and pectin. All these elements I have faith in should reward me with excellent tasting marmalade.
God loves faith. He wants us to respond to him in faith and enjoy his presence. To enjoy the Lord, we must first believe that he is a living person. If we cannot find him and accept him, we will never see him, know him, or enjoy him.
If we commit ourselves to him and take a risk by committing to a person we can’t see, what will the outcome be? The answer will be yes; we can step out trust God because he rewards them that believe in him.
God has promised us a life of abundance, joy, peace, everlasting life, protection and provision. It all rests on us taking a risk and putting our faith in him. God will be happy; we will be satisfied. The world will be a better place and heaven more prosperous.
Thought for the Day: ‘Faith activates God – fear activates the enemy.’ Joel Osteen
On average, according to jamesclear.com, it takes about 66 days to change a habit and replace it with another.
It is OK to change a pattern but it has to be replaced with a new and better practice, otherwise what is the use.
We can re-invent ourselves, which gives us a great deal of satisfaction, but unfortunately, it still cuts no ice with God. If we are thinking of pleasing God and getting right with him, we need a different mindset.
To be reprogramed or re-invented, we need to take on Jesus. He clothes us with his perfections, fills us with himself. For us to be this new person, we need to be born again. We need to accept Jesus and filled with him. When he lives in us and we in him God is pleased, he gladly accepts us as his beloved children and brings us into his presence, his throne room.
Such re-invention doesn’t require 66 days; It only takes as long as we can say, Jesus, I accept you as my rescuer. I give my life to you. I want you to live in me and I in you.’
Once we decide to be a child of God, no more effort is required of us to make ourselves better. Christ has done it all for us on the cross. We can say in all truth that we died with Christ: and that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Thought for the Day: ‘Feeling sorry for yourself and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could ever have.’ Dale Carnegie