Gratitude is the attitude for 2021 – free resource in Unlocking the Gold

We recently watched the movie Soul.

I highly recommend it.

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 sheer joy of living, those magic moments when life sings.

Gratitude is the Attitude 
© Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a great deal about joy this year.

How do we step into JOY?

I believe that gratitude is key!

GRATITUDE…

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.

You can get yours here on either of her blogs:

Unlocking the Gold

Raising World Changers

Let me know how you get on, and as you complete each day remember that…

God is Good!

Oh and…

Happy New Year!

 

Stop for the one regardless of lockdown

Late last year, I bumped into a friend I had not seen for years.

We briefly chatted, and then she surprised me by suggesting we catch up. She said she loved spending time with me years ago, and would love to catch up for lunch. I was delighted, but a little surprised.

Trust me… I am nothing special.

We had lunch and chatted and spoke a little about our own personal challenges. She shared her heart and as she spoke I saw a picture of her sitting at an easel doing art. I asked her about it, explaining that I ‘saw’ her doing something like painting under a tree.

I need to state this friend may not label herself as a ‘Christian’, but she does believe in the goodness of human beings. She believes that we are responsible to others and ourselves to make good choices. She believes it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than it was before we were in it.

She does know that I do call myself a ‘Christian’, and she accepts me, for all my flaws and inconsistencies that brings.

I go gently in my Christian talk, because I don’t want to offend her – she is my friend, and friends are kind to one another. Friends do not shove values or belief systems down each other’s throats, yet they are not threatened by a difference of opinion, or a healthy discussion. Friends can agree to disagree while honouring the difference of opinion. I find her attitude generous and gracious.

The last time we spoke was years ago, pre prophetic training. I was prophetic back then (news flash: we all are!) but I just didn’t realise I was and I had not learnt how to listen and then mention what I ‘saw’ or ‘sensed’ for people.

So I asked about the painting (with no Christian ease) and she told me she LOVED painting/drawing. I told her what had happened; she accepted what I said, and we moved on in our conversation.

I encouraged her to join an art class, buy some supplies, and recommended a few more personal things, and we went on our way. She was encouraging to me too; it’s a two-way deal people. She was not, and is not a ‘project’, she is a friend, a real live friend, and I see her because I want to, not because she needs saving…

Red hot keen Christians that carry belts with notches please read the above paragraph again…

My friend is not a ‘notch on the belt’… I like her and accept her, and I would continue to see her as a friend even if she never accepted Jesus into her heart!

People can smell belt notching a mile away!

Hence this story…

Within 24 hours I received a message saying that she had ticked off all three items we discussed, and we promised we would catch up again – she would tell me how she got on with her projects, and I would share how I was getting on with mine.

We caught up briefly before Christmas. At the time she was very thankful, and I felt embarrassed because while I was the mouthpiece and the ears (I listened to her and God), I just encouraged her to step into something she loved, into something God created her to do…

Well…

Fast forward to lockdown stage 4 in Melbourne, Australia. We can now be out for total 2 hours (with one other person if they are not from our home). I have thought of my friend a few times over the last 6 months, but about 10 days ago, I acted on the thought (I believe the prompting) and I texted her to arrange a walk.

As we walked, our discussion got deep quickly, and she asked me a little about my belief in God. She shared her views on many things, God, faith, spirituality. She chatted, I listened; I chatted, she listened…

We will catch up again this Wednesday.

Christians on social media seem to think because we cannot gather in a church building that somehow we cannot do anything effective for the Kingdom, we can’t impact people.

This is nonsense.

There are many ways to ‘stop for the one’.

Sometimes it means stopping for the one stranger on the street – as you walk past you offer to pray, or give them a word of encouragement, or just shout them a coffee.

Other times it’s the phone call that you feel you could make, or the email you could send… and you call or you send it.

Sometimes it’s the prophetic inclination you have for your boss and you share it at work, without declaring ‘thus says the Lord’… there is no need to declare a prophetic inclination in that way – just be relatable.

Other times, it’s just catching up with a friend who happens, unbeknownst to you, to need encouragement. That friend needs someone to SEE them warts and all and call out ‘you are loved my friend’. Sometimes we just need to call out the gold… regardless of whether they ever come to Christ.

It’s about being the Body (not doing the Body). It’s about being human. It’s about moving in response to His heart beat for yourself and others, and in this all will see that…

God is Good!

 

Atheist Professor teaches his 7y.o. meaning of life – my story of meeting a good God

Well I’ve never really told my story on this blog.  In fact, in typical Aussie style I have kept myself out of this blog on purpose, essentially because:

  1. Australians hate “big noting Aussies”.  Yes people the tall poppy syndrome does exist here.  I never wanted to be accused of “big noting” or making this blog about myself – because this blog was about God, and His goodness and His willingness to use me (a random Aussie girl who wanted to give “the big stuff a go!  So I made sure my identity was keep out of it);
  2. Online safety – I don’t have a face book page, I instagram, but without identifiers, and I have two children I did not want to expose to the  internet – essentially, if I am real with you I have a fear of unknown consequences 🙂
  3. most importantly – I felt I needed to be anonymous, and hopefully by being anonymous people would be inspired to understand that anyone (yes you) can do the God stuff too – you don’t need to be clever, talented, qualified, you just needed to love God, listen and do as He says in faith (with love!)

I have now come to understand that a lot of what I was doing on the streets as I went about my days is now identified as “prophetic evangelism”, but even giving it a name seemed (and still seems) wrong – I saw, and still see the “as I go” and “stopping for the one” as merely being God’s friend, being His child, being the heart and hands of God in my community – I actually believe it’s being a Christian, and that we are ALL called to do the same (if Bill Sweeney from Unshakeable Hope with ALS from a hospice bed can “do the stuff” and reach the unreached, and love a dying world – and he can’t move or speak people – then none of us have an excuse.  Hit the link to Bill’s blog – it will rock your socks off and then some more.  Hi Bill I hope your’e ok with what I just wrote.  You inspire me!)

I also now understand that my own story has power, my own story of growing up in an atheist home, searching for God desperately for years, and coming to know Christ as my loving Saviour, is important, and people need to hear it.

A couple of years ago, a gentle man called Chris heard my testimony at church.  He was (and still is) responsible for recording radio for the Salvation Army.  He asked to interview me.  I was a bit overwhelmed at this idea, but feeling God on it I said yes.  So here is the link to some of my recorded story.  I hope it blesses, I hope it encourages, and I really really hope you understand that I waited from the age of 6 or 7 until 23 for someone to step out, take a risk  and invite me to meet Jesus.  While I am grateful for the silent witness of the families around me over the years, I wish that someone had actually stopped and explained that I too could have a friend like Jesus,.  Had anyone done so  sooner, so much heart ache in my life may have been avoided.  So I share, hoping that someone, at least one, will know that there are people out there waiting for you to talk to them about Jesus , waiting for  you to invite them into the Kingdom and the family of God, and that by doing so you will invite them to see that …

God is indeed very, very good!:

Atheist Professor teaches his 7y.o. meaning of life | Salvos Radio

Click on above link to listen.