Take a breakRead Now
Take a break. When I used to cut apricots for drying, it was tiring and repetitive work, we received so much money per tray of halved apricots. It was necessary to pace myself if I wanted to earn a decent amount of money. I worked out that I needed to cut a tray of fruit every five minutes. My cutting knife almost grew into my hand. Apricot cutters didn't take breaks. Taking a break meant a loss of 50 cents a tray.
God made the universe in six days; then he took a break. When Jesus hung on the cross and darkness covered the land, God again took a break – a love break. He so loved the world he gave Jesus. When we are born again, we are accepting God's love-break, and are stopping and accepting Jesus as our rescuer.
We need to keep taking love-breaks to tell Jesus how much we love him in return for him loving us enough to die for us.
Have you taken a love break yet? Sit down in a quiet place and spend a few minutes meditating on the scriptures we read each day and thank him for his life in you.
Thought for the Day: Sometimes, good things fall apart so that little things fall into place.
a secret lifeRead Now
A secret Life…
It seems everything has a secret life, even plants. A curious scientist is needed to unravel those secrets.
The gardener may have certain suspicions about the secret life of plants, trees and water.
We never document those suspicions thinking they are granny's tales and fearful of being considered crazy.
The book titled 'The Secret Life of Plants' by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird documents their experiments into the secret life of plants. The authors claim plants are emotional and respond to stimuli such as music.
Helen Pitcher writes that plants hear and react positively to classical music, while responding negatively to rock and roll. Helen Pitcher claims that cress plants ramp up levels of defensive chemicals when exposed to the sound of a chomping caterpillar. In contrast, the sound of wind or the song of insects prompts no reaction.
Does all this sound like a pipe dream? I am not a curious scientist.
Plants do have a mind of their own though, as any gardener knows. Provide plants with suitable soil, enough water and nutrients, and they will grow. That is common sense.
On the other hand, I have observed trees grow out of sheer rock faces; I am left marvelling at the tenacity and determination to overcome any obstacle and live.
There is another aspect, and that is the secret life of faith. My faith in particular. My faith is like a plant, the seed of faith was planted in my heart. It grew as does a plant, my faith blossomed for the world to see as does the flower that blossoms. As a full blown blossom so today is my faith.
Jesus, Son of God, said, 'My words are life.' This quote can be read in full in John 6: 63. Further, 'the Word of God is spirit and life. 'The Word of God is 'living and active.' For the full-text Hebrews 4: 12. God’s Word is powerful and dynamic and imparts life to us who believe. God’s Word acts like nutrients and water does to the plant. His word informs us, about him, given free reign it encourages us, nurtures us, and strengthens us. We are able to not only cope with life live fully and abundantly.
God’s most life-changing Word is, 'For God so loved' … me that he gave Jesus his only son to die that I might live. God's whispers of love spoken in secret to my heart explode into life, just as plants do when they are lovingly nurtured with water, nutrients and light.
My life was changed overnight by his Word. God said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' I took God at his Word and embraced his plan for my life. I believed that His Word is truth and not only his Word, but he is truth. Because I accept his Word, I am filled with his Life and power. I now live freely and richly in his care and provision.
As plants respond to loving care, so I respond to God's loving care. He provides for me what I need; he nurtures me with his Word. He loves me unconditionally. He is my all, in all.
floods and washaways...Read Now
FLOODS, EROSION, WASHAWAYS
Ancient, gnarled red gum trees line the banks of the River Murray.
The roots of these trees are exposed by years of flooding; eventually, the trees topple into the river
to become snags to river traffic.
The trees do not succumb easily to the onslaught on their roots by flood or storm; their root system has grown deep into the earth, they are anchored by their taproot.
When I was a volunteer, working in the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden nursery, I took over the job of growing seedlings. The seeds of most Eucalypts are as fine a pepper.
There would spring two tiny leaves from seeds that appeared to be as pepper, and when the seedling was about an inch high, I would repot the seedlings into a bigger pot.
I would be left amazed; the taproot root would be up to three times the length of the seedling. The Eucalypts would grow their roots first, anchor themselves into the soil and then commence to grow their canopy., The life span of River Red Gums is hundreds of years. Ridge Park, Unley, South Australia, houses a red gum eucalypt estimated to be 300 years. The tree is immense.
We can be easily deluded into thinking drugs and alcohol will stabilize us. We look at governments and relationships, and possession’s for security., Alas, these things are not the kind of soil in which to put down our taproots and stabilize our life.
Where can we find the kind of permanency, security, peace, calm in life’s storm? How can we be adults who don’t get swept away like gums with exposed roots along the riverbank? How can we avoid meltdowns, tantrums, guilt, accuse everyone else but ourselves when life happens?
There are many myths about Jesus which we are deluded enough to believe. Unfortunately, our only fount of knowledge concerning Jesus is the TV, films and social media. We have no idea of the truth about Jesus that is to be found in the Bible. The lie is, he condemns us, keeps us poor, allows us to be sick. There is the myth that we have to be good enough; we have to be a wowser. However, the scripture says, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish.’ John 3: 16.
The truth is Jesus Christ came to give us abundant life. Listen to this, ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they (you and me) might have life and that they may have it more abundantly.’ John 10: 10.
Jesus came to stabilize our life, prosper us, give us his joy and peace.
When we take the time and trouble to search out the truth, we find that Jesus is the taproot that will settle us down and provide mental and physical strength. Jesus is the moral soil that does not wash away when life sends a flood. Jesus is the calm, the peace, the joy, the sanity in a mad and cruel world.
a special occasionRead Now
Anne Wells (Los Angeles Times) tells this story.
“My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package.
‘This is not a slip. This is lingerie,’ he said. He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite, silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price-tag was astronomical and still attached.
“Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.” He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, and then he turned to me, “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day your alive is a special occasion.”
His words changed my life. I’m doing less dusting and more reading. I’m sitting on the deck, admiring the view. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. I’ve realized that life is a pattern of experiences to savor not endure. If it is worth seeing, doing, hearing, I want to see, hear and do. I’m trying hard not to put off, holdback, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. Every morning I tell myself that every day, minute, breath is a gift from God.
Don’t put off knowing God until later, either. It will prove to be the greatest loss of all.
Knowing God is to come alive.
The colors are brighter, the landscape is fascinating, and the bird-song is more beautiful. Knowing God completes life. ’Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ Philippians 3: 7. LB.
Of course, life gets in the way and things don’t work out like we planned. Jesus, within us, gives us the power to live above depression, poverty, sour grapes and avoid pity parties. We are enabled to come through life’s challenges, unscathed, and a whole lot wiser. God always keeps his promises and comes through for us.
When we put all else aside and wait in the presence of God, our strength is renewed, we will mount up with wings like eagles; we will run and not grow weary; we shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40: 31. So many times my human strength has run out and God has come through for me in renewed vigour. I savour life and not endure it.
These are the most joyous words ever written, ‘So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us to this place of highest privilege where we now stand and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God had in mind for us to be.’ Romans 5: 1 – 2
Like the writer of the book of Philippians I am glad to smell the roses, listen to bird-song. I hardly dust anymore, but it’s my camera that gets the work out. ‘So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.’ Whoohooo!
sweet as honeyRead Now
Beekeeping has been in my family for at least two generations. My father kept bees; he needed them to pollinate the fruit trees of our orchard.
Two of my brothers each kept several hundred hives. A nephew kept 300 swarms, from which he made a living.
I tried my hand at keeping two colonies in my backyard for pollination purposes. Keeping bees is a fascinating past-time. Their social structure and work ethic soon absorb one.
There is nothing as sweet as honey. God has likened his Word to be as pleasurable as this amber liquid when read and studied. Honey is mentioned 61 times in the Bible. To compare God’s Word to nectar means there are riches and food for the soul found in the Word.
Honey is a sign of abundance, ease and prosperity. Jesus is not a sign; he is a real person. He came to give us abundant life beyond our imagination.
Jesus said his yoke is easy, and his burden is light, meaning we carry no burdensome rules or laws. God speaks of His abundant provision for the birds and flowers and declares he will provide more for us because of his great love for us.
We have been elevated to a unique position with God if we will only lay down our insistence on doing life our way. Believe in Jesus, accept him as saviour, live in him as a joint-heir. Yes, Jesus can to give us abundant life. Accept him.
Thought for the day: How sweet the taste of God’s promise is It tastes more delicious than honey.
who'se got your backRead Now
JESUS HAS MY BACK.
By Guest Writer
I have been trying to write a piece to publish on Face Book, but world events are moving so fast it is hard to keep up.
Earthquakes, floods, storms, leave a massive death toll and destruction. The displacement of millions of people by war is sleep shattering, political unrest and international strife for millions of people leave me gasping. I find fear and instability rife around me; church people are unsettled not knowing which shepherd to follow.
Please, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled, trust in God, trust also in Me.’ accept John 14: 1. Jesus was speaking to the hearts of his disciples knowing he was soon to die. Christ knew that he was not only going to die but would conquer death forever, opening up the promise of eternity for all who would believe. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes shall have everlasting life.’ John 3: 16. Christ knew he was opening the door to eternal life for all who believe. I believe, do you?
It was just days before his death when he said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled trust God and me.’
Christ was standing at the beginning of the grace age, speaking of a new era lasting more than 2,000 years. The age of Grace, it is sometimes call the church age. We are now at the further end of that 2,000 years of God’s grace age, and I say to you, put your trust in God’s word and don’t be moved by fear.
To die for Christ, and millions are doing so, is not a tragedy if we know that we have accepted and believed in Christ. We have already risen with him according to Colossians 2: 20, ‘Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him (Jesus) from the dead.’ If you know you have risen with him, you will be able to face earthquakes and disasters, and death without fear just like the apostles and millions of martyrs have done and are doing today.
DON’T BE AFRAID
So to all who know me, I urge you to find your security in the Lord alone.
‘Nothing shall separate us from the love of God,’ Romans 8: 31-36. Learn this scripture by heart, ‘nothing shall separate us;’ get this clear - nothing, even death, can separate us. You can’t beat that! So don’t let people, pastors, teachers, friends separate you from Jesus, if the news or message doesn’t sound good, doesn’t feel right, drop it.
God does not give us a spirit of fear; he promised this in 2 Timothy 1: 7, ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (or fear), but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.’ A few years ago I was suffering some physical problems, my wife printed off this verse using a large font and hung it near my bed. The Lord lit up the words, ‘God did not give us a spirit of fear,’ in my mind, today, I know fear does not come from God. The Spirit God gives us is certainly not fear.
I take courage, strength, and wisdom from the scripture that tells me I am a redeemed son of God. Revelations 5: 12 tells me that ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise.’ The Father gave Jesus power, strength, wisdom, in turn, Jesus has given the same to me. Jesus is at my back, of whom shall I be afraid.
Values of LifeRead Now
How did I lose my peace and my joy? How did I miss the presence of God? Why did I lose the blessing? And the light of revelation blackout? Who changed? What happened? Did God change his mind about me? Is he mad at me?
Life got in my way, and I didn’t pursue God single-mindedly, I didn’t put Christ first. I didn’t value his presence, his peace and joy, his blessing, above all, himself. I appreciated things, activities, and people more than I valued Christ. That is why the light of revelation went out. The joy of blessing died. I thought what I was doing was legitimate; it helped people; therefore, it must be right. When God loses the race in the value stakes, we are in trouble. Our peace, joy, blessing fades, stress, worry, fear fill the void.
Paul the Apostle wrote, ‘What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. I count all things a loss to gain the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ. I count them dung that I might win Christ.’ Philippians 3: 7. LB
It is easy to place value on job, children, marriage and what other people think of us. These four are the big things in life and are important and must be valued highly but not at the expense of God. If we are to succeed in these four values we must put God first. All these things may be important, but they should take second place and God first place. ‘Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things are are added.'
God hasn’t changed, or mad at us, departed from us. No, we just changed our value system. Return to glorifying God, valuing him above all else as though it was dung and we’ll be in heaven, in the throne room of God, enjoying his presence and doing more significant works than Christ.
Thought for the day: ‘The reason why our experience is hot and cold is that we aren’t valuing what God has done in our lives above all else.’ Andrew Wommack
the vine and the timeRead Now
THE VINE AND THE TIME by Bruce Leane
I began my new job, meeting the boss at the shed at 8 am.
‘Good morning, Bruce,’ he greeted me cheerfully.
‘Good morning, Boss,’ I was tentative. It was my first job, and I didn’t know a thing about block work in the orchard. I had been in the dairy milking cows all my life.
‘Come with me, and I’ll give you a tour of the block,’ the boss invited, he headed away from the shed towards a patch of vines. ‘The sultana patch we are standing in you’ll be pruning starting today. Learning to prune is easy, I’ll show you how so don’t worry.’
Over the next 11 years, I would prune hectares of sultana vines, pick hectares of sultana bunches, spread tonnes of grapes on racks for drying. I would shake tonnes of dried grapes off drying racks bundling the fruit into sweat boxes ready to be taken to the Co-operative company and sold. I would have eaten my way through racks of golden dried sultanas without making myself ill. Today I crave for those golden bags of juice in my retirement.
But at that moment, I worried what if I cant learn. The vines were trellised to head height and canes sprouted untidily in every direction.
The boss handed me a pair of secateurs, ‘Sultana vines are regarded as ‘sports’ in the horticultural jargon,’ the boss snipped off a long cane and pulled it away from the vine.
‘What’s a ‘sport,’ Boss? and why did you cut off that cane?’ I was bewildered.
‘Sultana berries have no seeds and can only be grown by planting a cutting or layering a cane. They have been called ‘sports.’ I cut the cane off because it was growing in the wrong place. I have put the cane aside because I want to plant some cutting’s to extend this patch of vines.’
‘Branches must be trimmed and thinned out, so they can carry the maximum bunches of fruit,’ the boss snipped off branches and shortened others. ‘The canes must be connected strongly to the crown of the parent vine, so they don’t break off under the weight of fruit,’ the boss stood back and looked at his handy work. ‘Shaping the vine to make it a strong fruit carrier is the secret of all successful fruit husbandry,’ he added. I could feel a sermon coming on.
I preached the following Sunday, ‘I am the vine, and you are the branches.’ Christ explains about forming the branches to bear much fruit and making sure the cane is securely connected to the vine as the boss had explained to me. In the congregation was a man to whom the message spoke. Forty years later that same man, now a pastor, took me aside to tell me he had never forgotten that sermon on the vine and the branches.
‘A lot has happened to my belief system in those forty years,’ I told him.
‘In what way,’ he was curious.
‘In reading John 15: 1- 17, Christ emphasizes the word ‘remain.’ The word ‘remain’ implies intense effort and is used eight times. Over the past forty years, I have pressured myself to ‘remain’ in Christ, thinking I must work even harder to remain for fear of being pruned from the vine. During those forty years the Holy Spirit had switched on the light of revelation: Christ was living and preaching under the old covenant, Jesus lived, preached and died under the law of Moses. I believe that Christ’s earthly ministry was under the old covenant, he hadn’t yet died for our sins or risen, sin was still active.’
‘You mean you don’t believe in the Old Testament?’ the pastor was horrified. His idol of forty years had fallen.
‘It has taken all of those forty years for the Lord to deal with the ‘remain’; I constantly put myself under pressure to remain close to Christ until the Holy Spirit revealed that the ‘remain’ applied to the old testament order and when Christ died and rose he ushered in the new era, things then changed. My struggle to ‘remain’ ended by Christ going to the cross. When I accepted Christ as my saviour my struggles ended. Christ entered my heart and I am now in Christ and he in me, we are as inseparable as the branch and the vine. This light bulb experience set me free from the pressure of trying to ‘remain’ in Christ. I am in Christ, I remain in Christ and nothing can ‘separate me from the love of Christ.’ Romans 8: 35.’
‘I see what you mean, I shall have to give it more thought,’ the pastor hedged.
‘During my early years, I explained, ‘I tried hard to remain close to Christ and kept failing, now I learned, I was in Christ and he in me. ‘I am crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me,’ Galatians 2: 20 – 21.’
‘You sound so sure about what Christ has done, but it doesn’t seem right that we just do nothing. Isn’t that presuming on God?,’ the pastor was aghast at the thought that his best efforts were not acceptable to God.
YOU HAVE IT ALREADY
‘who shall separate us from the love of Christ…?’ Romans 8: 35. ‘Remain’ speaks of great effort but
Many readers may still be trying to ‘remain’ in Christ, so can I point out, when the reader accepts that they are in Christ at their salvation, and that Christ is in them and they in him and that he has given them all they need, the striving to remain in Christ is taken away. Can the reader accept that they are in Christ and he in them?
‘I wish I could just accept scripture in faith the way you do,’ the pastor sighed.
‘To him who can keep you…’ Jude 24, Christ is keeping you and me. Working at ‘remaining’ has gone, I live in the era of the finished work of Christ. Christ wonderfully fulfilled the Old Testament position, but it took the Pauline revelation to lift us out of the struggle to ‘remain.’ My friend, you will always struggle to ‘remain’ in Christ until you accept that you can’t do anything to ‘remain’. Until you accept that Jesus indwells you and keeps you. You ‘remain’ in Christ because he keeps you.
‘All I have to do is accept what the Bible says?’ the pastor questioned doubtfully
‘Yes, accept the word of God that all sin is dealt with; remember, Christ finished sin on the cross. Our job is to go for fruit that’s why we are attached firmly to the vine. We are no longer hanging on; our position in Jesus is secure. ‘’When I come back to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.’ John 14: 20 LB. A huge part of my life changed when I understood and believed that everything I do is part of Christ, ‘he in me and I in him.’’
‘I accept that Christ is in me and I in him, what must I do next?’ the pastor showed he was tired of trying to ‘remain.’
‘Listen, just concentrate on being rather than doing. You have been made a joint heir with Christ. You and Christ are in an eternal relationship. ‘Since you arose with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is with Christ in God.’ ’ Colossians 3: 1. Paul’s revelation never leaves us trying to remain but always just being a new creation.’
A great light lit up the pastor’s face, the light bulb of revelation flooded his heart and mind.
Too many people are trying to ‘remain’ not understanding they have arrived.
good thingsRead Now
‘Good things happen to those who know God loves them.’ Joseph Prince.
The popular cliché is, ‘Bad things happen to good people.’
And so bad things happen to good people, reinforcing the idea that we can expect bad things to happen. The more we believe bad things will happen, the more they do.
We know God loves us, the Word says, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…’ That is wonderful.
Next, we are told, ‘God is able to do exceedingly abundant beyond all we ask or think.’ Eph 3: 20-21. That is even more wonderful. But has anything changed in our lives? Are we still struggling with circumstances and life?
Psalm 91: 1-6 pops out at us, ‘He rescues us from every trap…protects us from the fatal plague…his promises are your armour… no need to fear the dangers of the Day or the plagues of the night. Though a thousand fall at my side and ten thousand around me, the evil will not touch me…’ When we read this passage, our reaction is that those words are written for King David at that time; not for today. We dismiss the writings as not spoken by God and continue the struggle of life as best we can.
God loves us so much Jesus died for us, the promise is exceedingly abundant more than we ask or think. God wants our soul to prosper and be in health, he’s our shield and protector. What stops us from taking God at his Word? It is our mindset. We have been taught what we can believe or can’t believe but never to take God at his Word. Oh no! God may love us but not enough to give good things to us.
We need a new mindset, one that knows God truly loves us. An understanding that God is never mad at us, who never listens to the tittle-tattle of others. Are we genuinely confident we are the apple of God’s eye, his righteous children because of Jesus death? A new mindset will bring about confidence in the Word. So, make sure you know God loves you.
Thought for the Day: ‘Good things happen to those who know God loves them.’ Joseph Prince
waiting 4 godRead Now
Entering a restaurant and being waited on is sheer luxury.
Chefs cooking delicious food and waiters or waitresses bringing it to the table is sublime. The waiters fill your glasses, fetch the coffee, enquire if the food is to your liking, are you happy with the service. Your every need is anticipated. One feels important, very special and affluent.
My husband Bruce, and I have just celebrated a wedding anniversary by having dinner at a local restaurant. Separated from the crowd in an alcove, we dined with our son and daughter-in-law. We were waited on, congratulated and fussed over.
Recently, the camera flash of revelation went off as I sat in church musing on what was being said and done. There are a number of Bible verses that urge us to wait on God.
My understanding of waiting on God was to spend hours, days in prayer, reading the Bible all the time, mind blank, just waiting. Waiting on God in this fashion, I was led to believe would bring about miracles, revival, healing, moving God to answer my prayers. I found this kind of waiting on God hard work and failed dismally. No wonder it was a struggle. When compelled to do something, it becomes legalistic and dead, in the end one fails.
What if there was another meaning to waiting on God similar to the waiters and waitresses? Waiting on him in praise and adoration. Delighting myself in his presence, seeking out his every need, fussing over him, as it were. Psalm 37: 4 and 7 says, ‘Be delighted with the Lord…Rest in the Lord…’
I became excited and worshipped him. I mused on the love that God had for me. I was both enthralled and awed at his love that overlooked my rebellion and insistence on independence. I waited on God, spent time basking in his love, thanking him for loving me even I didn’t even know him, listening to him. Waiting on God was never so easy and sweet.
IN THE PAST
In olden times, Israelite priests were forbidden to wear woollen garments next to their skin. Fine linen garments had to be worn. Linen was a picture of God’s grace. Woollen garments caused sweat and perspiration and was and denoted self-effort. ‘They must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire.’ Ezekiel 44:18, 19, LB.
It is clear that God is hates the self-effort of his people. He denounces our efforts to make ourselves acceptable in his sight by calling our righteousness a dirty rag. For us to be righteous and meet God’s requirements of holiness and purity we must by faith accept that God has made us righteous in Christ. We must accept the goodness of Christ as our own by faith.
My first understanding of waiting on God was mostly self-effort. I wanted to please God but it was out of duty. I waited on God because I was told to, not because I wanted to. There is a difference. Waiting on God doesn’t mean to wait for him to do something, in my opinion it means to spend time with him, to be in his presence, by prayer, study of the Bible, even sitting and meditating.
THE CAMERA FLASH
The camera flash showed another way to wait on God and please him. Praise, worship, adoration and thanksgiving. Offering praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing is proof that we have accepted what Jesus has done for us and that pleases God.
We can wait on God washing clothes, doing dishes, eating a meal. We can leave the bustle of life and be quiet, set ourselves apart to bless him, thank him and adore him. This way of waiting on God is effortless and pleasing to him.
Let me close with the scripture that set off the question of waiting on God, ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40: 31 LB.
the flower and the hover flyRead Now
THE FLOWER AND THE HOVER-FLY
The flower opened its heart to the sun, to life; in wanton abandon.
The flower said to the hoverfly, ‘Come to me, and I will feed you. My heart is full of sweetness, come drink of me and you will be satisfied through the cold winter months.’
The hoverfly buzzed with glee and settled on the flower, ‘Aha!’ it said, ‘A heart of sweetness. I will gather for me and my hive. We will live through the hard times of winter.’
Jesus opened his heart of love as he died. He said, ‘Maybe people will read my heart now and know that I love them and do not condemn them because I have come to give life and save all those who call on my name and drink of my Spirit.’
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, and I will give you living sweetness that will last for eternity, that will enable you to live through the hard circumstances, cold and loveless times. Drink of me, I only can supply your thirsty spirit and hungry heart. Believe in me, I am the way, the truth and the life. Receive me, I will make you acceptable in my Father’s eyes.’
When we have drunk of Jesus eternal sweetness, we are free to fearlessly open our hearts and let others drink of the inherent sweetness deposited within us by Jesus.
June 06th, 2022Read Now
‘Don’t go too close to that well,’ my mother yelled, as I ran up to my father leaning over to catch a bucketful of water he had just wound up from the depths of the well. He was bucketing water into a trough for our thirsty cattle. We were in a drought and water was scarce.
I peered over the edge of the rickety boards around the lip of the well into the dark depths.
’Get back out of it,’ my father growled.
I obeyed. My father continued to lift water by bucket, regardless of the danger of falling in and drowning himself. He had grown careless with continued use of winding the windlass up with a bucket full of water and letting the bucket free fall to the water. Watering the cattle took hours after a hard day’s work.
When my father had finished watering the animals the well would be empty. It would take all night for the water to seep back in again and reach the water table, ready for the next day’s watering.
At the beginning of summer, the well had been brimming full and there was no indication that it was 60 feet deep. By mid-summer, the water level had dropped and my father was looking skyward, wondering when it was going to rain.
It was always a struggle to get water. We never seemed to have enough of it. Every winter we had too much and every summer not enough. Water had to be carted from a bore several miles away in a tank for washing and drinking. Our cattle had to be driven to the bore over the miles maybe once a day if they were lucky.
Water is the staff of life even as bread is. Are we aware of how little water is available in Australia? We are so careless of it in the cities. It is our right to have as much water as we want and even waste. How many people can we support in Australia on the amount of water that we have? So much of our nation is waterless, rendering the land un-useable. To enter the outback is to travel hundreds of miles without finding a drop of water.
Today when I think of that well I shudder with the horror of its danger, its seeming harmlessness and how easy it would be for me as a child to mistake its safety and drown. My parents were right to warn me but there were no safeguards around the well then as there is today with childproof fences around swimming pools and every dangerous piece of water.
HAVE A DRINK
Jesus was hot and tired as he sat on the stone wall around the well and waited, the woman approached, hesitantly, ‘Do you want a drink?’
‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, ‘do you want a drink?’
‘No, I have just drank.’
‘You will need a drink again when you get home,’ Jesus looked at the woman searchingly. ‘Follow me and I will give you water that satisfies inwardly. You won’t need to search for the water that I give, anymore.’
Ben & Sadie injected, they waited, the euphoria came and they gave themselves over to the drug. They drank deep of the experience. When they awoke they were in their squat, needing another fix to continue life in the euphoria.
Ken drank in the sight of his dream car standing in the car yard. He yearned to experience of its powerful performance, to go places in it. He was never satisfied. He felt, if only –he could have that car he would be satisfied.
Jason struck it rich – a gambling jackpot – but he wanted more, he was still wanted more money, power, satisfaction. He gambled his fortune way as his search for that satisfaction. He never experienced that contentment, that feeling of having arrived.
What well are you sitting beside waiting to drink from and having drunk you want more and more?
Is there a satisfaction to be found? Yes
THE SEARCH IS OVER
Why not sit beside the well of life offered by Jesus – don’t wait – don’t fear a drowning – just drink deep of the relationship offered by Jesus.
‘I am the Bread of Life. No one coming to me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in me will never thirst,’ he invited.
Forever sitting beside your wells in the hope of having your dreams come true will never happen.
Sit with Jesus, walk with him, and drink the same water as he does. Be satisfied.
the untamed spiritRead Now
THE UNTAMED SPIRIT
The Walt Disney animated film, The Untamed Spirit, is about a horse with an untamed spirit and a girl with a similar nature.
A wild horse or a brumby is the personification of a free, restless, untamed spirit. An unorthodox person or independent – minded person is often dubbed a maverick. Unbranded young animals are titled mavericks meaning nobody owns them.
The Holy Spirit of God – the Spirit of Jesus – the Untameable Spirit that created the universe is ageless, from eternity to eternity. Nobody owns the Holy Spirit, he is his own person. He is from eternity to eternity.
In and through Jesus, he created the lowest form of a microbe and the most complicated form of life. The man and woman was his crowning creation.
However, the Spirit that was without restraint confined himself in and through a person, his creation. The Holy Spirit confined himself to living in and through his creation. He cannot move unless we allow Him to fill us, direct us, motivate us.
When God created the first couple, he gave them free will. They were a fantastic pair. Living a remarkable life in a wonderous time, in a perfect place. They were as God. They had all that he had.
The untrammelled Spirit would have had unlimited freedom in them and through them, and they would have done amazing things. Still, all we are told in the scriptures is that they walked and talked with God in the cool of the day.
Then came the fall. When the super pair were challenged by the serpent to question God. The question put to the wonder pair was, 'God knows that in the day that you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil your eyes will be opened, and you will be as God.'
The chosen pair had not realized they were as God anyway. They had everything; in short, they were as God. The glorious couple were duped by another spirit wanting to usurp the place of the Untamed Spirit of God.
So, they ate. Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to choose and threw away their privileged position as the perfect pair. Thus, the untamed Spirit was tamed, or was it?
Subsequent generations though the millennia have blocked the Spirit. Could God by his own creative hand have thwarted himself? Could his deep desire to have a family of people whom he could walk and talk and relate intimately with be his undoing? Could His Spirit, at last, be tamed?
The untamed Spirit of God had a contingency plan. That plan included Jesus, his Son. Jesus was the perfect man to demonstrate the freedom of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus performed miracles and all manner of wonders. The Spirit of God was released through him.
People then and now marvelled at Jesus and what he did. But, because of the glorious Edenic pair, their actions in the Garden were passed down to us. As a result, only a few people could accept the free Spirit of Jesus – believe in him, take him and be filled with him and live by the free Spirit of Jesus.
God in Jesus went through death, created by the beautiful pair of Eden. Yet, he overcame to rise above that death in the resurrection.
The untrammeled Spirit manifested himself on the Day of Pentecost.
The people saw the demonstration of the Spirit by a strong wind, by fire, by joy unlimited and by hearing various languages. Thousands of people believed that day. That day the Spirit was free, he moved through people freely because they had faith in Him. The fall of the miracle pair was negated by Jesus' death and resurrection. The Spirit was now free to move in and through those who believed.
Today, the warfare continues—the power and freedom of God's untamed Spirit wars with the Spirit of the Edenic pair.
The untamed Spirit freely roams, seeking those with hearts hungry for something they know not what. To those, the living Spirit reveals himself and Jesus.
Those people who believe and accept Jesus, the Spirit fills them with himself; he leads them into all truth about the Father. These people are set free to move with the Spirit to see prayers answered, the miracle of healing and provision provided. In these believers, the Spirit moves freely. What the Edenic pair lost, Jesus bought and gave back. The untamed Spirit isn't tamed anymore.
God is never stumped for a way out. On the contrary, he has a contingency plan so that when we, the fruit of that wondrous Edenic couple, fail; through Jesus, we are given back everything they lost.
We are restored and can walk and talk with God. We have become the glorious ones, through Jesus. Everything that Jesus is we are as well. We are no longer mavericks unbranded. God has put his brand on us, we are his children forever.
YOU STINK PRETTYRead Now
GOOD PERFUMES CAN BE RECOGNIZED AS BEAUTIFYL AROMAS.
CHEAP PERFUMES HURT OUR NOSES.
‘You stink pretty,’ an Aussie larrikin paid a compliment to his wife.
For some people wearing perfume continually is their signature. They are recognized by that particular perfume even if they cannot be seen.
Ancient Egyptians used perfume believing it was the sweat of the god Ra. I suppose the Egyptians might have had a point because people working and moving in the sun can’t help but sweat and smell.
Ann Hamilton points out that each of us has a unique odor and as individual as finger prints or retina markings. Ann suggests that in Isaiah 11: 3, we will be judged not by sight or sound but by smell, ‘he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears.’
How many times have we heard, ‘don’t show fear because the animal will sense it and attack. Stay calm and it will move away.’ I can’t help feeling that the phrase, ‘delight in fear,’ could be that the Lord delights in our fear or awe of him and he recognizes each of us by our odor of awe which is our signature.
I am not a perfume person.
I have been given gifts of scent but they sit in my cupboard unused. Maybe my husband can identify my personal aroma, for it seems we all have a certain odor, especially if we haven’t bathed for a while. Wearing perfume is not important to me as my signature or identification.
I much prefer to be known by the fragrance of Christ that I exude. As is quoted in 2 Corinthians 2: 15 for we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.’ How can I be so arrogant as to claim that I exude the aroma of Christ? Simply because Christ lives in me. Remember the scripture? ‘It’s no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.’ Gal. 2: 20. Dare you say that you are not a child of God? Dare you say that you do not exude the aroma of Christ?
Everything about Christ, his character, his personality, his very being and above all his sacrifice for you and I was a pleasing aroma to his Father. ‘This is my son in whom I am well pleased,’ God, the Father declared.
A NEW FRAGRANCE
The aroma of our service, the aroma of our good living, the aroma of how hard we are trying to be a Christian is a stink rather than a sweet fragrance. It is the aroma of Christ that God is searching for.
The aroma of Christ in us is all God wants, When God gets a whiff of Christ in us, and he knows we are one of his, one of his children.
Christ in us is our fragrance, it exudes from us, we don’t have to work to set it free, we just have to be and everyone will know our particular aroma is Christ.
But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … (John 1:12).
a word of cautionRead Now
A WORD OF CAUTION
by BRONWYN BATTY
I heard an interesting testimony from a well-known prophetic preacher, Bob Jones, of a near death experience that he had. The only question Jesus asked him was, ‘Did you learn to love?’
Our society places a high value on certificates and degrees, but was it not love that took Jesus to the cross? But to truly love others begins with our love for him. Jesus loving gave Peter the third degree in John 21: 15 -17, when he asked him, ‘do you love me? Then feed and shepherd my lambs and sheep.’
Another powerful scripture revealing this truth is in the gospel of John: ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love springs from God: and he who loves (his fellowmen) is born of God and is coming progressively to know and understand God.’ God manifests his love to us by the sacrifice of his son.
I saw a wonderful story on TV, of a man who is taking care of his sick wheelchair bound wife. His love for her was very strong and intense; the love seemed to drip from him like drops of water from a water carrying sachet, trickling over her as they went out onto the streets in a specially made bicycle. He calls her his Princess. Her daughter made a tiara, which was placed on her helmet for the ride. That man has learnt a lot about love.
I am reminded of the helmet of Salvation which Jesus has provided for us because through Jesus going to the cross and the crown of life. Jesus has promised to place on the heads of those who have loved him! 2 Timothy 4:8 ‘As to what remains, there is laid up for me the victor’s crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me and recompense me on that great day – and not to me only, but to all who have loved and yearned and welcomed his return.’
I have read a sad testimony by the only son of a very rich Australian business man who has passed away. All his life, the son had been longing for his Dad to tell him he loved him. Well, in the final twenty four hours, the father told this son in a telephone call, that he loved him and was proud of him!
How much better, to learn the importance of love while we are on the GO in the land of the living, rather that when we face the red STOP sign at the exit.