Soul is a poignant reminder that our life’s spark is not purpose. Life is not about what we do, for we are not human doings. Rather, life’s spark is about the sheerjoy of living, those magic moments when life sings.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about joy this year.
How do we step into JOY?
I believe that gratitude is key!
Simple, easy, yet it has a profound effect on our state of mind, our resilience and health. Working with refugees for years, I truly believe it is key to their coping and thriving after years of persecution and fear.
Each January our family celebrates what we are grateful for, and as we do, we write a list of hopes, dreams, plans, desires, goals for the year(s) to come. We check off fulfilled goals and dreams, and review others. For example – my daughter was travelling as an exchange student to France this Christmas. This did not happen. BUT other wonderful things have instead… we recount these, we are sad for the missed trip; but so grateful for so much else that life has brought us in this season.
Nothing is too big or small to write on that list.
I am grateful for my health, that my legs work, my arms work, my hands work (I honour you Bill Sweeney of Unshakeable Hope & family).
I am grateful for music, that I can hear music.
I am grateful for fresh air, the wind, walks, and Nutella on crepes.
I am grateful for family, friends, opportunities…
I am grateful that I know and love a good God, who makes Himself known to me in profoundly personal and real ways…
Nothing is too big or small to celebrate.
January is great for us in Australia because our school year starts in February; but any time works.
We will do this again in the early days of 2021.
In fact, we did this a couple of months early, when Melbourne opened up from hard lockdown a little, and we could sit at a cafe for a cup of coffee. As we reviewed our list written in January 2020, we delighted at just how many things we had to be grateful for, how many fulfilled desires were on our list, and how many unexpected blessings had come…
If we ever hit really challenging times, we find anything to hold on to, to be grateful for, and speak them out, even when our emotions do not match!
Gratitude is even more crucial in these days – it’s how we hold strong in the storms of life.
Jane Berry, a dear friend, has recognised that gratitude is the attitude.
She has written a free 40 Days of Gratitude e-journal.
Days after we spoke with her, a group of Christians from another church had coffee there. The pastor chatted to her, and she told him her story of meeting us. He invited her to his church. She plans to go. Ironically, it’s the same church I would have suggested to her, but I had felt not to push it, but allow her to go on her own journey. Now I know why I was to stand back – God had it all in hand. The church is just perfect to accept her creativity, beauty, and gentleness of heart.
this is NORMAL Christianity, this is what Love looks like…❤️
Nikita writes on her Facebook page:
hello facebook, please meet L L is a dear friend of mine. he is exactly like you and I. He has a heart and soul and a really beautiful dream; to spread the words of love and kindness. He is an incredibly colourful human with an old soul wiseness and a phenomenal artist as you can see! He is almost always peacefully planted outside the ANZ bank in _____ sipping coffee, smoking making art, being, interacting with anyone that chooses to interact with him. I know I really enjoy buying his art as gifts for others and myself but him all to his own, the human that he is, the alphabet he created and the love he emits he is the most kind and whole soul I’ll probably ever meet. So yes this is a huge plug to get you all to support him and buy his art but he also likes flat whites with two sugars and hugs. I gave him a big hug today and he cried and cried and said nobody had done that for years. So if your lucky enough to befriend him and your a hunger just go for it
Not long after she wrote this post she privately messaged me:
I gave myself to God today in front of everyone at fire church I cried and cried and felt a weight lifted and the pastor I knew came over and said a prayer for me and I feel so different. THANK-YOU! I would also be very interested in a more formal church. Can always go to two…… where do you go?
Wandering in I said ‘hi’, chose a few pieces to try on, and popped into the change room.
The owner and I were chatting about the recent lockdown that lasted 4-6 months here in Melbourne. We discussed the businesses we each knew that had closed, the people we knew that had been ill with covid, the people that were so very angry… at everything… and those that had struggled…
She asked me how I had coped.
‘Gratitude’ I said.
‘Choosing joy, while acknowledging heart ache and sadness…’
‘Gratitude…’ I said again.
In chatting we realised we had both chosen gratitude. We acknowledged the fear, the pain, the loss, but we had also looked at all that we were grateful for, the things we did have, and noted that we lived in a safe country, a beautiful country, and that kindness was the primary response that would get Melbourne back up and running.
In between dresses the owner paused, looking at me she said, ‘you look really spiritual’.
I laughed. I looked like a post covid-19 lockdown me. A little bigger than she had last seen me, and that was all. She has seen me over the years regularly. I often walked into browse her shop.
She was spiritually open.
We chatted some more, and as I paid for my new dress I offered to pray for her.
She agreed, and so I released the Kingdom of Heaven into her store, I blessed the work of her hands, and her business, I honoured her in her walk of grace in a difficult time with her ex business partner, I spoke of what I sensed would or could be future plans, places to open further stores, business blueprints and ideas…
I essentially spoke God’s heart for her and her business, including the business development plans she had held in her heart…
She was shocked, and exclaimed it was in line with her very thoughts.
I laughed and said that was God affirming her ideas and plans.
Sensing I had finished what I needed to pray, I ended the prayer.
She cried… and asked: ‘can I hug you?’
‘Yes’ I said
And so she stepped out and around into my arms and we hugged as she wept…
It was the second hug of the day from a stranger, that God had set His sights upon.
‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God’
I retell this story, not to big note or brag, but to demonstrate that if I can do this, anyone can.
I’m not perfect.
I don’t always get it right.
But God knows; God sees; God loves…
He has a heart to see the one before us, and if we will listen, love and let Him out, He will take care of the rest, because…
God is Good!
I prayed for one more person this same day. There were no hugs, there were no tears, I provided a listening ear. It was a chat at a sweet store (we were buying lollies for Christmas stockings) but there was no overt element that showed me the recipient was impacted. It is normal to have encounters of great breakthrough, and then encounters that would leave you wondering why bother. It’s all good, any attempt is a ‘win’, as long as I step forth in love. It is not a notch on the belt… it is purely seeing a need and sensing a desire to bless or love the person before you, knowing that…
Questions of identity stir. The depth of that quest for self is confronting, and so we keep busy, we keep moving…
The world says ‘Go, go, go!’
So we run.
We run until the light of the day goes, and when it has we flick the switch for more light and we party, eat, see friends, turn on screens, call people, text, comment, blog, find other things to do… for we must… not…. dare…. keep… still…, even for one moment! If we stop, that issue of self may chase us down and face us off squarely, showing us we are merely a puff of smoke on the horizon of the earth…
So who are we?
Recently we have had to
for a moment
‘When can we get back to being busy?’ we ask.
The silence in the stopping is, um, well, it’s, …. ‘uncomfortable’.
My breath, the wind in the trees, birds, neighbours banging doors, traffic, a baby crying at a nearby child care centre, the whirl of the train as it pulls into the station close to my home (the wind must be a northerly for me to hear that), a plane, builders making a buzzing noise with an unknown machine, another train, school bells… these are just some sounds I hear around me…
I stop again.
A white butterfly, white roses, purple salvia, the orange/gold pansies planted in March, sunshine, a fly, green leaves stirring in the winds, shadows, sunlight, the greying woodgrain on the table where I work. It seasons with the weather…
Heat of the day, wet grass in the sun, jasmine blended with the fragrance of roses, hints of citrus riding high on the warm northerly breeze of the day, fertiliser spread on newly planted gardenias…
The remains of an almond milk chai, combined with a sweet taste of honey comb and chocolate… ‘just one’ I say…
The heat on my skin, the hem of my dress briefly flutters across the skin of my leg in the breeze as I sit and write, the touch of the keys as I strike the keyboard, my hands are dry, my hair blows in the wind and tickles my face…
The world is groaning.
The earth vibrates to the sound of Creation – I hear it through my feet.
Life will go on, regardless of what I do, or don’t do (for even doing nothing is a choice).
… I know I am Beth…
I know I am loved – by husband, family, friends, God…
I know that regardless of what I do today, this day will pass. Use it for good, or not, again it is my choice…
I hope I use it for good…
The doing isn’t me, but neither are the sounds, sights, smells, tastes, feelings, knowings…
So who am I?
Am I a sum of these things?
The answer to that question is a journey deep within, and yet also beyond self. It is far; and yet the Answer is right there before us, asking us to stop, see, and know…
Where to start?
‘It’s here’, He whispers:
‘My Beloved daughter,’
‘My Beloved son.’
The Father spoke over Jesus at the time of baptism:
‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.‘ Mark 1:11 (ESV)
This declaration of love and acceptance comes before Jesus starts his ministry; before he starts the doing. Jesus has done nothing to earn His Father’s love… He IS loved – just for being. It is from this place of identity Jesus enters the desert, fasts, is tempted and then steps into ministry, into His life’s great opus. Jesus holds firm to who he is and whose he is. From that place of understanding He knows who, Whose, and ultimately what he is called to do…
‘111 My beloved daughter; 111 My beloved son,’ He whispers to us on the wind.
Do you hear Him?
Will you sit and hear His heart for you?
Will you stop long enough and allow Him to sing over you… love you as you rest in the nook of His arms?
Will you ‘…wait a little longer’?
The quest to find out who we are, and so discover what we are called to do starts first with understanding we are His…
The age old question of ‘where do I come from, who am I?’ is pivotal… it’s primal.
We discover the answer when we learn to sit and listen to His heart beat. In doing so we find that we are completely, utterly, and even recklessly loved by the Creator of the universe; and, it is in doing so that each of us will find ourselves because…
The question of identity and purpose are interchangeable, and are revealed through process. We will be running groups to help people discover who and whose they are next year. If you are interested in these please contact us and we will let you know about any upcoming programs.
I particularly like the version on the album ‘We Believe‘ but I could not find an authorised website to link to that version. The version on the ‘We Believe‘ album is a little quieter, and I personally find it more poignant.
In Australia, this blossom is not common. It is so uncommon that people slow down outside our home, roll down the window and take photos (night and day). The display is breathtaking, and I feel so fortunate to have four in my garden.
Two years ago, during a very challenging season, two died. For many they are ‘just trees,’ but to me, they were a silent, gentle joy that died amid the storm.
I asked our gardening gurus who designed our garden to look, and as kindred spirits, they wept with me (figuratively). The deaths puzzled them. Everything around the trees was flourishing. The trees had put on a magnificent display… and then died.
In my stubborn way, I sourced two more baby trees. My husband and I dug up the old and planted the new, with fresh, beautiful soil.
Look at them now. There’s two, one behind the other:
With March 2020 came Lockdown 1. Like a gentle garden gnome, I crept into the garden and allowed my heart to sing quietly as the world mourned. With sad news, I would seek solace in the soil, in my garden.
March is Autumn for the Southern hemisphere. I did what I knew: I watered, I weeded, I turned the soil to let it breathe, I fertilised, and I waited. I then planted for Spring – pansies, silver beet, beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, snap dragons, mint, parsley… It was a time of rest in my garden.
People walked past, pointing to the vegetable patch, the trees, the colour of Autumn. I waved to them from my garden beds or my verandah. They would stop and comment on the pansies, planted by the gardenias; my cabbages and broccoli planted amongst the flowers, and many smiled at the mixture of vegetables and flowers in my vegetable patch.
Various family members sat on the porch chairs. We moved into winter, and weather permitting, I sought afternoon solace in the sun with a cup of tea, chai or coffee. I often sat quietly, cherishing the blessings around me. I found Joy amidst the storm, and I knew my trees would bloom come Spring.
One of the original 2 trees bloomed early, with magnificence. My heart sang. The rest followed. I felt peaceful Joy as I came in from my walks. During Lockdown 2, these gentle moments of beauty remind me, remind my family, my local community, that this too shall pass…
And then I noticed it. One of my original, beautiful Circis Avondales was dying. The one that had blossomed first, with apparent vigour and glory.
I called the experts.
It perplexed them; it made no sense. They were doing so well, and everything under the trees was flourishing – gardenias, daphne…
If you look closely at the first photo above – in the bottom right-hand corner, you will see a little dried up stick. That stick is my dying Circis Avondale. I don’t have the heart to show you the rest.
I continue to turn my focus to moments of beauty, cherishing what is before me, aware a new tree will be possible after lockdown. Yet I am sad knowing I have lost 8 years of growth.
Last week, our garden guru solved the mystery:
‘My heart has been breaking over these Circis. I’m devastated but think the other trees had phytopthera. It’s a disease that can be in the soil or in mulch. …’
I learnt two years ago that a dying (or even a dead tree) can bloom with great beauty. The sugar reserves built from the previous season provide enough energy for a dying tree to bloom with grandeur. They looked amazing. But when it was time to develop further into the season – they died. They were all show, with no substance.
It was last Friday morning that God talked to me about my tree.
‘ … it’s about the soil’ I felt Him say as I woke.
This season… it’s all about the soil!
Many times last week I used the example of the apple tree. Friends call, with dreams and plans. With 200+ days in tough restrictions, my friends (and I) feel frustration. We know it’s a time of rest, reset, but we want to get going… produce fruit now…
As I feel the frustration, I step back into the One that knows…
The apple tree grows, it buds, it flowers, insects pollinate, it fruits.
I need not push the fruit out. Fruit comes from a place of being who and Whose I am.
If the soil is not heathy… if disease, or dis-ease, creeps into the soil, not only will the crop produce less than what’s it is capable of, the tree risks death. It cannot flourish or even grow. It may look great on the outside as it dies, but in its beauty there is great sadness – nothing will remain.
The Israelites rested their land every 7 years from crops – they rested the soil. And every 50 years was a year of Jubilee… Wise people!
‘We are in a year of rest,’ I say to my friends (needing to hear it myself too).
‘… but rest does not mean “do nothing.”’
This year is about the soil. We must care for our soil each day. We cannot afford to run on energy past, or on sugar alone. It’s a new season with additional needs.
‘Attend to the soil,’ He whispers, ‘so that what has been planted will grow. In its appointed time – fruit will come…’
There is no push.
With good soil maintenance, fruit will come…
In this season, I’m quietly addressing the condition of my heart. Everything is gently being turned over; everything is being changed, readjusted. Thought patterns and behaviours that I may have been able to get away with in a previous season, just will not carry me into the next time of growth. I am being called to a higher standard, and from that internal change, my outward behaviour will follow. I may fall, but I will get up. If I fail, I will fail forwards… asking forgiveness as I go.
I am being called to prepare the soil…
And if the soil is good, if I’m planted in a healthy community, and I listen to the ‘next’, I need not strive to grow fruit.
This morning I was a little flat. We are still in stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, and although there was some lifting of restrictions last night, the changes do not really change anything for us in our little bubble.
Restless, I pulled on my big girl pants and drove to the naturopath to pick up some tablets.
As I chatted to the owner, I asked her how she was.
She felt the same – a little flat.
We chatted and exchanged comments, and as I did, I noticed the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.
I stopped and asked: ‘can I pray for you?’
She looked, muttered ‘yes’ and instantly cried.
‘Oh gosh, yes, please, oh, gosh, that would be nice… I don’t know why I’m crying, how kind…’
Her words tumbled out through her tears.
I responded through tears: ‘it’s ok, I can feel the Holy Spirit here, and I felt to offer to pray…’
She came out from around the desk. I asked if I could place my hand on her back. I actually desperately wanted to hug her…
I prayed for her to be refreshed and to receive joy, hope, good sleep, favour for her children who would also remain at home when school returns in a week.
I also felt I heard a word for her, which I gave for the business, and she stepped back wiping away her tears.
There was nothing more to say in that moment.
We both agreed – three more weeks and perhaps it would be better for us both…
As I drove away, I thought of the woman who had texted me that morning that she was closing her business. It was too hard. She texted all her customers; I was just one of many. I felt the nudge to drive to the concourse where her shop was located and buy some flowers, so I did, some beautiful large bright happy orange gerberas, thinking I would offer to buy some of her produce to help with the finances of closing shop and moving to the country.
If I was to do this, surely she will be in her shop clearing it out… if I had ‘heard’ right… right?
The shop was closed and no-one was answering my knock!
Maybe I got it wrong…
Frustrated, I then felt to drive back to give them to the naturopath practice.
‘Surely it would cheer her day,’ I thought. Nothing to lose. I did, but I felt it fell flat… I felt foolish…
Maybe I got that wrong…
Still feeling unsatisfied, I drove back to shop area, drove past the shop and the door was still shut with no-one inside.
‘Right’, I thought, ‘I’m driving home’, but it didn’t feel right to just drive home…
Soooooo, I went back again and bought some gerberas (this time smaller bright orange ones), hoping I had ‘got it right’ this time…
Nope – the shop remained shut and empty.
I brought the flowers home and they sit on my kitchen table, bright and cheery.
So I am telling this to encourage those that are giving this ‘stopping for the one’ a go. People that have heard many of my stories think somehow that I get this stuff right, all the time…
You will get it right sometimes.
You will get it wrong sometimes, but if it blesses someone who cares, God loves your heart, and someone gets blessed.
You will get the timing wrong sometimes – I will give it another shot if I can to bless the woman whose business is closing. Let her know her community cares.
And sometimes you just don’t know what you were hearing… but try to step out any
The bottom line is, giving it a go counts – giving it a go is a ‘win’.
So, even though I feel like I missed it, I didn’t.
I loved on a woman who was struggling, and I tried to love on another.
Incline your ear, regardless of how you feel.
Stop for the one as you go, and you will learn, as you go…
And I can guarantee that you will taste and see that…
God is Good!
Let me know when you thought you got it right, but then you got it wrong, or you thought you got it wrong… but did you?
Two days before, the state government advised Melbourne residents that we were staying in strict level 4 lockdown for a further 2 weeks.
Mary heard about this, and she prayed.
As she prayed the name of our city stood out to her as Mel….bourne.
‘Mel’ means honey…
She felt God say that Mel (honey) will be born in this season. God is digging deep wells for greater capacity in the people of Melbourne. Fresh honey will come from the additional time of lockdown BUT with the extra two weeks there will also be an added pressure. Hence, it was essential we guard our hearts and minds.
For those that do not know, ‘honey’ speaks of God’s glory, His abundance, His wealth, His anointing, His favour. Honey has a natural sweetness, and it is a natural form of energy. Honey also has healing qualities: it is anti-microbal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Raw honey fights infection and boosts immunity. Honey has incredible wound healing properties…
Of interest, Melbourne was born out of another golden substance – gold.
And so, with the word listened to that morning, and the bees in my garden, heavy laden with pollen to carry to the hive… I realised:
Here is an opportunity to gather the pollen for the honey.
Here is an opportunity to choose God over circumstance… not grumble and mummer… and instead say ‘BUT GOD!’
We will spread whatever we carry, just as bees cross pollinate plants as they go.
It is up to us, what we pollinate with…
Fear, harsh words, judgement, criticism…
Or will we cross pollinate with Kingdom?
Please choose God’s words of life, encouragement, kindness, forgiveness…
We will harvest what we gather… we will spread what we carry…
So let us gather Kingdom mind sets and prepare for the honey to flow.
Let’s see the gold, the goodness, and the glory in one another – call it out!
Let’s help one another grow in our capacity to carry heaven everywhere we go, so we cross pollinate, just by being who we are… in the same way bees cross pollinate by doing what bees are designed to do…
And as we do, as we go, and as we beeee…. we will release His goodness, His glory, His honey because…
God is Good!
What honey are you carrying?
Is there some mindsets, thoughts, behaviours and attitudes that are inhibiting you from carrying good pollen as you go?
Can you see God’s goodness, regardless of our circumstances right now?
Sometimes the bay where I walk is unusually still; barely a ripple shifts the surface tension of the waters. At other times, the wildness of the weather comes straight from an Emily Brontë novel and the wind whips, forming waves that surge upon the sand.
Regardless of weather, these days God is often speaking as I walk. It could be the lack of quietness in our home because of a full house in lockdown. It maybe I just haven’t stopped, made room. It may just be where He speaks now…
Who am I to question?
We have a full, noisy house…
My husband and daughter work in my home office. My husband at my desk; my daughter at another desk. My son sits in his bedroom, where he has attended most of his first year of high school.
Then there are zoom ballet lessons 6 days a week (day and night at various times). Ballet music fills our living area, which is open plan to our kitchen and dining area. This means that I often duck and weave the camera as I make yet another cup of tea…
My daughter has a habit of settling herself where her mood suits – her desk in my office, her bedroom, chasing the sun outside, at the dining table (which is my favourite place to work).
It is a full, noisy house…
It’s not that I mind noise – sometimes. However, having nowhere to retreat that is free of invasion by good meaning family members is challenging, especially when you feel called into a quiet time with God.
Sometimes I like to have a quiet sit with God; other times, it’s a wild worship in the living area. I may journal, prophetically play music, shout, sing, complete prophetic acts… what I sense Him asking of me, I do, as best I can.
I have not had the luxury of uninterrupted alone time in our house since mid-March 2020.
Playing musical rooms with my laptop, with no place to settle… God still calls…
He’s not interested in my excuses, my reasons, my habits, he sees them all anyway.
I moved a small table from my office into my bedroom – not ideal, but it was a little desk where I could zoom, or write, or do admin, etc. The afternoon sunlight streams into the room and brings me quiet joy. Having a zoom call in my bedroom is not ideal, but we make the most of it.
25 weeks of zoomed ballet classes later, I still sit and write in my bedroom… it’s our ‘new normal’.
I can hear the music of my son’s ballet class. The ballet mistress makes corrections, sometimes with kindness, and at other times…
I pray for the person who is the focus of a harsh word as I walk through to my kitchen for a cup of tea.
As a prophetic ‘feeler’, the people, the noise, the news reports, the aggression, the fear, the frustration, the sadness, the intensity of emotions can overwhelm. Many of you feel the same way.
I can walk into a shop, and feel the emotion. I often know the challenges on a person. The atmosphere in a store can slap and if someone is hurting, if someone has been dabbling in the occult, I often sense it.
The atmosphere here in Melbourne Australia has been intense. I’m sure it has been intense in many places around the world, yet, I am still called to Him. I have no excuse.
Being in Him with intentionality is the most refreshing place to be…
Each day I walk, and each day He speaks. Regardless of whether I’m listening, He speaks. He loves me enough to always be speaking, to always be present, it’s just whether I’m present to Him. Am I centring myself in His heart beat for myself, my family, my friends, for the nation…
He speaks, and He shows me that:
He is my refuge.
He is my strength.
He is my God in whom I can trust…
If I will just stop and press in, if I will stop doing… if I will…
Last week while out walking with my husband, I was struck by how as a couple we walk in sync with one another, and when one or the other of us is slightly out of sync, we will adjust our walk to the one beside us. It makes the walk one of ease and comfort.
We were walking, holding hands, and we were slightly out of sync, which made our holding hands awkward, so I did a little hop, skip and jump, to come into sync with my husband’s stride, and our walk returned to one of ease.
As I did my little ‘dance’ and I felt a stirring from Jesus, my husband. He highlighted this little manoeuvre for me, and as He did, I glanced at my phone – it was 11:11… again.
11:11 means a few things to me.
A few years ago, when God was talking to me about the church needing to wake up, it was ‘Wakey Wakey time’ (thank you Beni Johnson circa 2009/10ish), which was a direct reference to Lazarus waking up (see John 11:11). For others, 11:11 may mean something else. But for me, in this moment, it meant the ‘walk of faith’ regarding Hebrews 11:11:
I looked at our legs walking in unison, my left leg striding out with his right leg, hands held swinging in time, my right leg then striding out with his left – they looked like the walk of 11:11.
Can you see it?
leg leg: leg leg
I know, it’s how my brain works, because you see, I see God talking to me. He talks to me through what I see, through patterns, numbers, strange happenings (remember Moses’ burning bush in my last post?). It’s not just what I hear or know or sense, I also see, and there are many ways to see…
It’s 4am in the morning here in Australia as I write. He asked me to get up and ask the following question. I suppose it is an important question to Him:
‘Who are you walking with?’
Andrew, my husband, was symbolic of Jesus. I need to be in an easy sync with Him – with Jesus by my side. I must adjust my stride to be by His side, at ease in my walk with Him…
I also need to be in an easy sync with my actual husband – my life running partner, I need to adjust my step to be with him, and sometimes he needs to adjust his step for me. He often complains that I run ahead too fast… 🙂
we all need community and singles (or married’s with unbelieving spouses) this then also covers you, as it does married couples (our spouse cannot be everything we need). We all need community. So I ask:
Who are you running with?
The answer is important, especially now, in this ‘Kairos’ time, in this time of challenge.
We are in a rapidly changing world, life (including church) is being shaken to its core, and who we associate with, who we hang out with, what we read, fill our minds with, who we allow to influence our growth forms us and so I ask again:
Who are you running with?
Whoever they are, I suggest at least three things are essential:
1. they will call out the gold in you, helping you brush away the dirt to uncover your essence, your true self. They will celebrate you and let you shine. They certainly will not try to make you a cardboard cutout of themselves. But, please also let them shine;
2. they are people you can lean in and run with, learn from, trust. They need to be encouraging you ‘to come a little higher.’ And, you may be that person for them too, for iron sharpens iron. But I suggest that at least a one or two have done a few more miles in an area where you need to grow. You may also encourage and help them grow too, but your community needs to include a few people who will stretch you, but always in kindness;
3. they are people you can sew into. I believe that we all need to be running with others that we encourage and call higher too. We all need to ‘pay it forward!’ This is how the Body grows, each encouraging the other to become fully alive to Him, Jesus Christ.
So, it’s time to find your tribe. It’s time for me to find my tribe. It’s time for us to find our tribe…
I think this is essential because it’s time for the meat. No more milk fed adults. Milk fed adults are not healthy adults. Kingdom rule requires Kingdom adults.
So, it’s time to grow up!
God wants mature kids because…
God is Good!
I’d love to know what you are doing to find this sort of community, a community that inspires you to grow.
Have you found people who honour you, who see you, yet who call you higher?
Or, are you facilitating groups online or locally to help others grow into who they truly are? If so, let us know what that looks like – it won’t always look the same, but it would be interesting to hear other people’s journey.
As A and I went for our walk yesterday we saw these boots left abandoned, sitting on the grass:
I looked at them as we walked past, laughing that God was showing me something, just not knowing what. Having walked past the spot, I felt a gentle nudge to go back and take a photo…
I asked the Father what He was trying to tell me about them. I felt He said that it was time for us to change our shoes, to change our walk. I feel He is saying that to the Bride of Christ – He is saying to us all that we have had our work boots on for so long, and now it’s time to take them off and stop working so hard for Him.
We have been doing and doing and doing… without knowing who we are first…
These abandoned boots say it’s time to change our walk, and hence, take our work boot off and get ready for a change of shoes. The boots had done well in the past, but now they needed exchanging for an upgrade, for a fresh way to walk.
What I found particularly interesting was the direction they were facing:
If someone was standing in these boots, they would look out to sea – one of my favourite places to look. Noting the direction I felt God whisper again:
It’s important what direction we face in these times. It really matters what we are fixing our gaze upon in this season of transition.
It was as if the wearer had seen the beauty of the view, and had discarded the boots for a walk of simplicity and purity, a bare-footed walk with a focus on God’s goodness, God’s beauty. It resonates of Moses stopping for the burning bush, removing his shoes in the desert, for he was standing on Holy Ground:
‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground’ Exodus 3:5 (NIV)
It is at this point God gives Moses his commissioning, but first Moses had to stop, take off his work boots, and listen!
So we take off our work boots (our works) and in simplicity (bare-footed) we go to Him, sit, wait, linger and hear His heartbeat for ourselves, and as we hear the heartbeat for ourselves, we will also hear His heartbeat for those around us. As we do both: hear Him for us; hear Him for them, He will equip us afresh with new shoes, and these shoes will look quite different to the old.
I don’t know what my new shoes will look like.
I don’t know what your new shoes will look like.
But for now we need not know, we need simply to stop and take off our shoes.
Come to me and be still.
Rest a while and know that I am good.
Breathe and allow me to take you through the storm and on the other side of all this, then, having rested, you will be ready to run the race set before you.
Yes, we are in ‘unprecedented’ times. Yes, we are in a ‘reset’ (even the nonChristian world is using this phrase). Yes, it is challenging, and confusing, and different… but God!
If we can all collectively stop, take off our work boots, ‘be still and know (experientially) that [He is] God’ (Ps 46:10), breathe, rest and listen… and then go with Him rather than for Him, then I believe that the world will see that…
God is Good!
How has God been talking to you in these last few days?
Have you seen similar ‘burning bushes’ or ‘signs’?